CHED allows medical, nursing students to be COVID-19 vaccinators

Published November 13, 2021, 10:01 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Saturday, Nov. 13, formally announced that post-graduate/undergraduate interns, clinical clerks, and fourth-year medicine and nursing students can now become vaccinators and participate in the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment and Vaccination Program.

(Image from CHED)

“The government is now fast tracking the vaccination roll-out as more [coronavirus disease] COVID-19 vaccines arrive in the country,” said CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera.

“As we increase the number of vaccination sites and increase daily targets, these additional vaccinators and support staff are critical to achieve herd immunity in the next two months,” he added.


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Along with the Department of Health (DOH), the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-003 entitled “Interim Guidelines on the Voluntary Participation of Postgraduate/Undergraduate Interns, Clinical Clerks, and Fourth Year Nursing Students in the COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment and Vaccination Program” has been released.

Through this, De Vera said that “these students can volunteer as health screeners, vaccinators, and pre/post vaccination monitors under the supervision of licensed physicians and nurses.”

De Vera explained that the JMC “provides guidance” to participating higher education institutions (HEIs), hospitals with National Internship Program and all governance levels participating in the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment and Vaccination Program.

CHED, De Vera added, has been pushing for school based vaccination in all big private and public HEIs since October.

De Vera said that to date, there are 61 HEIs nationwide that are currently functioning as vaccination centers.

Based on the JMC, post-graduate/undergraduate interns, clinical clerks and fourth year nursing students who will volunteer will be trained and supervised by health professionals.

“Their volunteer work and completed number of hours will be credited in their internship and will be certified by the head of the vaccination team in the particular vaccination site where they rendered their services,” De Vera explained.

CHED, on its part, will disseminate the policy to and orient CHED Regional Offices, HEIs, and hospitals with National Internship Programs, monitor the implementation of the policy, and provide data to DOH as to the number of HEIs/hospitals participating and volunteers deployed.

“The voluntary participation of these students in vaccination sites will be implemented regardless of the area’s risk classification as categorized by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),” De Vera stressed.

De Vera added that all CHED regional offices have been instructed to work with HEIs that have medicine and nursing programs to produce an inventory of student-volunteer vaccinators and work with the DOH and local governments to assign these student volunteers to the various vaccination sites.

This initiative, De Vera said, is part of the government’s efforts to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

For higher education, De Vera explained that vaccinating tertiary students as well as the faculty will provide “additional layer of protection” for them and will pave the way for the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes.

“While more than one million college students have already been vaccinated, this is only about 30 percent of the target number,” he said. “We need to rapidly vaccinate more students,” he added.


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