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.
This is after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Health (DOH) released 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.”
These students can volunteer as health screeners, vaccinators, and pre/post vaccination monitors under the supervision of licensed physicians and nurses.
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.
“The government is now fast tracking the vaccination roll-out as more COVID-19 vaccines arrive in the country. Yesterday and for the 2nd time, the country breached the 1 million daily target for vaccination. 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,” said CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera.
CHED has been pushing for school based vaccination in all big private and public HEIs since October. So far, 61 HEIs are now functioning as vaccination centers all over the country.
“While more than 1 million college students have already been vaccinated, this is only about 30% of the target number. We need to rapidly vaccinate more students,” De Vera added.
The 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.
On its part, CHED 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).
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.
For more information, please visit: https://bit.ly/CHED-DOH-JMC3s2021.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education