As it strengthens its vaccination campaign for tertiary level, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is eyeing to tap medical students who are in their senior year and those who have recently graduated to serve as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinators in schools.
“We will authorize fourth year med students, the recent graduates who have yet to take Licensure exams to be vaccinators under the guidance of healthcare experts and workers,” CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera during the ceremonial vaccination of student-athletes on Thursday, Oct. 28.
As part of its vaccination caravan for tertiary level, student-athletes under National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) were vaccinated at the Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong.
De Vera underscored the importance of vaccination not just for student-athletes “but for all college students.”
He noted that for student-athletes, vaccination is very crucial for the resumption of face-to-face games. This is also the case for tertiary students who are looking forward to going back to in-person classes for all degree programs.
As the country now has “sufficient supply” of COVID-19 vaccines, De Vera said that the challenge is how to make vaccination for students more accessible.
“Students are now under a special category and we were assured the vaccine supply will be redirected to schools who need them,” De Vera said in a mix of English and Filipino.
In order to fast-track the vaccination of all students, he noted that more vaccinators are needed. “We are now coordinating with universities and colleges to have an inventory of [Med] students who are qualified to become vaccinators,” he said.
Once the students become vaccinators for schools, De Vera said that this will be classified as on-the-job training (OJT) for them.
De Vera said that CHED is eyeing the vaccination of all tertiary students because it will pave the way for the resumption of face-to-face classes and other related activities.
“Schools are economic enterprises as well as businesses around the schools,” De Vera said.
As CHED visits various schools nationwide for its vaccination caravan, De Vera expressed hope that more students will get inoculated as soon as possible.
“I hope that the direction is clear why we’re doing this and why we believe that we can succeed. If we work together under the bayanihan spirit, we can do this all over the country,” he added.