“The vaccination rates for faculty, staff, and students continue to increase but we need to push harder during the three-day vaccination drive to facilitate limited face-to-face classes.”
This is the statement issued by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Popoy de Vera as he continued with his “Padyak Para sa Flexible Learning: Sama-samang Vaccination Program” to students in Region 6.
Based on weekly reports from higher education institutions (HEIs) all over the country, some 82% of faculty and HEI employees have received at least one (1) jab. This is a significant increase from the 72% vaccination rate at the end of October 2021 when the supply of vaccines increased dramatically.
The CHED Regional Offices are taking the lead in the data collection on the number of vaccinated HEI personnel (teaching and non-teaching) based on the submissions of HEIs in their region. As of November 25, 2021, all regions are 70% and above in the reported vaccination percentage for HEI Personnel. Regions 3, 8, 11, and CAR reported a close to 90% vaccinated HEI personnel.
The vaccination rate for students has also significantly increased from less than 30% to now 46% with the aggressive school-based vaccination drive spearheaded by CHED in cooperation with the Department of Health (DOH), the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, local government units (LGUs), and partner HEIs.
“Since Vaccine Czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. and I launched the Padyak Para sa Flexible Learning: Sama-samang Vaccination Program at the Mabalacat City College (MCC) and Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) on October 13, 2021, we have seen a consistent increase in the number of HEIs that have launched vaccination for their faculty, staff, and students either in their own facilities, or by working closely with their LGUs to hold vaccination days only for students,” De Vera said.
“I have crisscrossed the country going from Quezon City University, Tarlac State University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union, Pamantasan ng Cabuyao in Laguna, Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa, all the way to Davao Oriental State University, Notre Dame of Dadiangas University and DMC College Foundation, Inc. in Dipolog City to urge students to get vaccinated so we can slowly open their face-to-face classes,” he added.
De Vera said that many other HEIs have been holding simultaneous vaccination drives and he, together with Secretary Galvez, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and Senate Committee on Health Chair Senator Bong Go have joined them by Zoom or video.
Based on the reports of 2,013 HEIs in the country as of November 25, 2021, 1,839,846 tertiary students are now vaccinated against COVID-19. Regions 9 (70.1%), CAR (57.5%), NCR (54.2%) are the top three regions with the highest reported percentage of vaccinated tertiary students.
De Vera said that the vaccination drive in higher education has gained momentum all over the country, but the whole higher education sector needs a more urgent and aggressive effort especially on Nov 29-Dec 1 and Dec 15-17 to reach herd immunity.
CHED and DOH recently released Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-003, or the 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 to allow tertiary students to participate in National COVID-19 Program.
For the National COVID-19 Vaccination Days on November 29 to December 1, approximately 320 HEIs, 9,459 HEI volunteers, and 211,208 target number of students will be vaccinated on these days.
“With more than adequate supplies of vaccines, the challenge now is to increase vaccination centers and vaccinators so we can help reach the target of three million jabbed individuals during the three-day national vaccination program,” De Vera said.
“I ask all our CHED regional offices to continue facilitating the partnership between our HEIs, LGUs, and DOH personnel during the 3-day Bayanihan, Bakunahan: Ligtas, Lakas, Buong Pilipinas,” he added.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education
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