IATF meeting set on COVID-19 vaccination plans for students — CHED

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
IATF meeting set on COVID-19 vaccination plans for students � CHED
Frontliners get inoculated with Aztrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine during the continuation of vaccination for health workers and frontliners at Marikina Sports Complex on March 24, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education on Tuesday said the coronavirus task force will discuss this week if students can soon be vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Inoculation efforts in the country began in March and are still on priority groups such as health workers, senior citizens and those with comorbidities. 

Chairman Prospero de Vera III said the IATF will meet on the matter as other countries are also gearing up to vaccinate their students.

"In other parts of the world... they are reviewing their policy and thinking of prioritizing vaccinating students so they can go back to some face-to-face classes," he said in a press briefing as CHED marks the 1st National Higher Education Day.

Classes in the Philippines, both in the K-12 and in the tertiary level, have been carried out remotely since October 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Groups have pressed the government for plans on a safe reopening, as they stressed that difficulties under the current setup could compromise students' learning.

"Also, this is a recognition that, especially for younger students, they are observing in other countries that mental health of students are really getting affected," the CHED chief added. "And they like the students to be going out of their homes more frequently."

The government has since allowed limited in-person learning to those in medical and health allied programs.

Recently, CHED also secured the IATF's nod to move up teaching and non-teaching personnel in colleges and universities on the priority list. 

The said groups are now under A4, from being in B1. De Vera said this was crucial as processing of graduates' documents could be delayed.

"Our argument in the IATF was you need to vaccinate the skeletal workforce of HEIs because by July, students would have graduated, they would need their grades, transcript of records and diploma so they can take the licensure tests or look for a job," he said.

Vaccinations in the country are still on 16-years-old and above. Still, there has been progress on younger groups receiving their shots soon, as Pfizer was cleared in the United States for the use of 12 to 15 years of age. 

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 12, 2023 - 2:59pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

April 12, 2023 - 2:59pm

Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire says the general population may now get their second booster jab.

"We're just waiting for the release of implementing guidelines, then we'll start rolling out our second booster for the general population," she says. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

August 23, 2022 - 10:12am

Amid questions on vaccines being administered, the Department of Health assures the public all doses are safe and effective as the “process of extending shelf life goes through thorough stability studies.”

“The government ensures that every vaccine that is injected with an extended shelf life has gone through studies, and is still safe and effective against COVID-19,” it adds.

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

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