Group seeks wider exclusive COVID-19 vaccination for teachers, DepEd staff

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2021 12:03 PM

Group seeks wider exclusive COVID-19 vaccination for teachers, DepEd staff 1
Health workers administer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to education frontliners during a symbolic vaccination ceremony for Marikina Polytechnic College and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina at the Marikina Sports Center on May 19, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— A teachers' group is calling on government to hold exclusive COVID-19 vaccinations for education workers in the entire country, not just in select localities.

The Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) made the call as it commended the Department of Education's (DepEd) office in Caloocan City, which had a separate vaccination schedule for education personnel.

"This initiative should also be done in every locality in the country. The key to this is proper coordination between the DepEd field offices and the [local government units]," TDC Chairperson Benjo Basas said in a recent statement.

Nerissa Losaria, DepEd-Caloocan's division superintendent, said she asked Mayor Oscar Malapitan for the targeted vaccination of teachers.

"I ordered the school health unit to schedule the vaccination, identify the sites and prepare the list of teachers. We will do it during this time of school break so there would be no disruption for the preparation of class opening," Losaria said.

Teachers, who are part of the A4 priority group or essential workers, currently line up in long queues in vaccination sites assigned by their local government units (LGUs) to get the jab.

A targeted vaccination for education personnel will boost an LGU's protection against the spread of COVID-19 because teachers continue to work in the frontlines of education service, Basas said.

"If successfully vaccinated, the more than a million teachers and other school personnel who are actively working and interacting with their respective communities could surely boost the herd immunity," he said.

Basas said vaccination against COVID-19, which has sickened over 1.5 million in the country, should also be a pre-requisite before the implementation of any plan for face-to-face instruction.

Aside from Caloocan, the cities of Manila, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela, Baguio, Davao, and Antipolo are also implementing similar efforts, according to TDC.

Latest DepEd data showed that of its 788,839 personnel eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, only 37.91 percent have received either a first dose or completed 2 doses.

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