To be able to ensure the safe reopening of schools over a year after they were closed to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a students' group reiterated the need for students and teachers to get vaccinated.
At the pace the Philippines' inoculation program is going, it would take over a year before the country reaches its target of vaccinating 70 million people.
"We need to prioritize the vaccination of students, teachers, and staff so that we can safely return to our physical classes. Because right now it seems like we're lagging," National Union of Students of the Philippines Committee Head Coleen Manibo said in Filipino during the virtual State of the Student Address (SOSA) over the weekend.
"We can no longer afford to wait for 2023 before we can resume physical classes again. Apart from prioritizing free and safe mass vaccination for students, the national government also needs to implement free and regular mass testing to ensure that the minimum health requirements are being implemented in schools conducting face-to-face classes," Manibo added.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) earlier said that it is eyeing the inclusion of students in the government's vaccination priority list.
As of July 4, at least 93 higher educational institutions (HEIs) in the country have been issued with authority to conduct limited face-to-face classes.