‘Assured of protection’: Education frontliners move up COVID vaccine priority list

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2021 12:02 PM

‘Assured of protection’: Education frontliners move up COVID vaccine priority list 1
Faculty members of the Saint Francis of Assisi College in Talon III, Las Pinas City orient their high school students on the process and procedures of virtual campus on Aug. 6, 2020, in preparation for their online schooling for the opening of the school year 2020-2021. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—Frontliners in the education sector have been promoted in the government's list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, moving up to the A4 cluster which is next in line to receive the jabs against the respiratory illness.

Frontline personnel in basic and higher education institutions and agencies are now listed under Priority Group A4 of the government's COVID-19 vaccination program, according to an April 15 resolution from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Education workers were previously under the B1 group.

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday thanked the IATF for moving education personnel up the list, stressing that "vaccination is a key component of any roadmap to the resumption of face-to-face classes."

"With the adjustment of vaccine prioritization for basic education frontliners, we can speed up the rollout of vaccines among our teachers," it said in a statement.

The DepEd is pushing for the gradual resumption of in-person classes, starting with a "pilot implementation" or dry run in select schools. President Rodrigo Duterte, however, has yet to approve the recommendation.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Higher Education lauded the IATF "for recognizing the valuable and critical role of our higher education personnel as 'frontliners'."

"HEI (higher education institution) personnel who are required to report in our HEIs must be assured of protection so they can confidently provide essential education services to the more than 3 million students in higher education," De Vera said in a statement issued late Thursday.

Last month, the CHED started 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.

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