MANILA – Teaching and non-teaching personnel from higher education institutions (HEIs) are now included in one of the priority groups of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Wednesday.
The commission issued a memorandum last March 16, asking its regional directors for a list of teaching and non-teaching personnel from both private and public colleges and universities who would like to be inoculated against the coronavirus.
The CHED earlier asked the Department of Health to include higher education workers in Priority Group B of the vaccination program, which is composed of teachers, social workers, government workers and other essential workers.
“[The request] has already been approved by the [Inter-Agency Task Force] upon my motion. The [Department of Health] is asking for the names [of teaching and non-teaching personnel] para masama na (so we can include it),” CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera told ABS-CBN News.
De Vera said they asked to prioritize teaching and non-teaching personnel for vaccination because “we need to slowly open our colleges and universities as part of the reopening of the economy.”
Forty organizations, however, are asking the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group to move teachers up the priority list of the vaccination program, from the current B group to A4.
The A4 group includes frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force as essential during enhanced community quarantine.
So far, more than 408,000 people, mostly health workers, have been inoculated against COVID-19 under the government’s vaccination program, which started last March 1.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones had said the Department of Education was in talks with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez on vaccinating teachers against the respiratory illness.
Colleges and universities have been implementing remote learning since last year after in-person classes were banned due to the threat of COVID-19.