For face-to-face classes to gradually resume in the tertiary level, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is targeting the vaccination of students in all degree programs.
“We’re targeting them because we want to make sure the general population gets vaccinated starting October 15 as the President has instructed because we have increased volume of vaccines available [so] we should cover everyone,” said CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera during the ceremonial vaccination tertiary students on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
De Vera and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, along with other officials, supervised the vaccination of students of Mabalacat City College (MCC) in Pampanga in preparation for limited face-to-face classes
MCC became the first leg of CHED’s vaccination caravan with the theme, “Padyak para sa Flexible Learning: Sama-samang Vaccination Program.” During the virtual press briefing, De Vera underscored the importance of vaccinating students.
“We’re targeting the students to be vaccinated,” De Vera explained. “This is important because we want to slowly open up our schools for the combination of online and offline classes,” he added.
De Vera explained vaccination for the faculty and employees of higher education institutions (HEIs) is already in place since they were re-classified as A4 in the prioritization list.
“They have been doing their vaccination these past months and the vaccination rate is way above the threshold,” De Vera said.
He noted that out of the close to 1,500 HEIs that have submitted their reports, their vaccination rate ranges from 70 to 80 percent.
Given this, De Vera said that the students – who belong to the B1 or general population – should be monitored at this time. “We should now start targeting them, this is the first leg of the caravan that we’re doing for the vaccination for students,” he added.
MCC President Dr. Michelle Aguilar-Ong said that a total of 500 students were vaccinated during the ceremony. In September, she noted that 400 students who are under on-the-job (OJT) were already vaccinated.
In total, Ong said that 900 out of 1,200 students of MCC are already vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Once the school reached its vaccination target and if allowed by the local government, MCC expressed openness to accommodate students from other schools to have them vaccinated using their facilities.
Meanwhile, De Vera expressed gratitude to the local government units (LGUs) for the vaccination of higher education frontliners and students.
“We’re happy that the local governments are on board, the universities are on board because we can only successfully vaccinate them if the local governments help and if the schools help to bring students for vaccination,” De Vera said.
He noted that CHED’s vaccination caravan will go all over the country because “we want to give a very clear signal to everyone to get vaccinated.”