MANILA – The Department of Education said Tuesday that not all public school clinics and classrooms could be used as coronavirus vaccination hubs, citing lack of space and personnel.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the DepEd was in talks with the Department of Health (DOH) over the proposed use of school facilities as COVID-19 vaccine centers but noted that there are “many considerations” on the matter.
“Kailangan i-plano iyan nang maayos kasi mayroon tayong schools na malaki ang clinic, mayroon naman schools na maliit lang. So depende iyan sa situwasyon ng eskuwelahan,” Briones said at the Laging Handa public briefing.
(We need to plan that properly because we have schools with big clinics and schools will small clinics. So it depends on the situation of the school.)
“Hindi tayo makasabi generally lahat ng clinics magagamit, dahil baka mag-create pa ng problema kasi maliit masyado, kulang ang personnel o malayo sa isang health station,” she added.
(We can’t say generally that all clinics will be used as vaccination centers because it might create problems due to lack of space or personnel, or the distance of the clinic from a health station.)
The education chief also said officials need to “think twice” if they plan to use schools as both quarantine and vaccination centers.
“Dapat hindi sila magkalapit. Kung may quarantine center, we think twice about using them also as vaccination center, especially kung iyong campus iisa lamang,” she said.
(The quarantine and vaccination center should not be close to each other. If there’s a quarantine center, we think twice about using them also as vaccination center, especially if they’re in the same campus.)
Briones also clarified that public school teachers are not counted among those that would help in administering the vaccine.
“Dine-deny naming iyong perception na ang mga teacher ay sila mismo ang mag-vaccinate,” she said.
(We deny this perception that teachers are going to administer the vaccine.)
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said the DOH was looking into training pharmacists and midwives to take part in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
The DOH will also ask help from teachers on disseminating information on the vaccine, Vergeire said.