MANILA— The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) wants to reach a 70 to 80 percent vaccination rate for college students nationwide by the end of November, as its inoculation drive in higher education institutions continues.
During the vaccination of students at the Quezon City University, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said that to date, 30 percent of students have been vaccinated nationwide, while inoculation for school personnel is at 70 percent.
The commission is encouraging schools and LGUs to increase the number of vaccinators and vaccination sites.
"Kaya kung iyong mga eskwelahan ay lahat magiging vaccination site, kung may facility at makakuha tayong dagdag na vaccinator. Iyong supply iyong least of the problems kasi sapat ang supply," De Vera said.
(If possible, all schools should be vaccination sites, if there is a facility and if we can get enough vaccinators. Supply is the least of our problems because the supply is enough.)
The official added they will soon release a memorandum, allowing Nursing and Medicine students to be deployed to vaccination sites in their respective LGUs and augment manpower in the facilities.
"Siguro (maybe) in a week or so, we will now issue the new guidelines to allow students in Nursing and Medicine in their fourth year and new graduates to act as vaccinators."
"It will be a joint CHED-DOH guidelines. Of course they will be under the supervision of the health professionals para mapadami [ang mga magbabakuna]," De Vera said.
(It will be joint CHED-DOH guidelines. Of course they will be under the supervision of the health professionals so many will want to get vaccinated.)
"Gagawa na ng imbentaryo ang mga schools, ilan iyong estudyante namin na pwedeng gawing vaccinators. And then pag-uusapan na iyan with the city health office, the municipal health office, or the regional (office), so they can now schedule how many vaccinators can be asked to assist in what facility."
(Schools will make an inventory of how many students can serve as vaccinators. And then that will be discussed with the the city health office, the municipal health office, or the regional office, so they can now schedule how many vaccinators can be asked to assist in what facility.)
De Vera explained school-based vaccination is preferred over mixing students with the general population vaccination for two reasons: schools have a master list of students, and students somehow experience a "sense of normalcy" as they return to school and mingle with classmates.
Meanwhile, 300 students from the Quezon City University lined up to be vaccinated on Friday, as the gave students jabs from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna.
Among those who lined up was 19-year-old Chzaira Real, who was initially hesitant to get vaccinated because of her fear of needles.
Eventually, Real was convinced to get her AstraZeneca jab when she realized that she needs to protect herself and her loved ones from COVID-19.
She shared that her own family has yet to be vaccinated, as they are also hesitant because of fears of adverse effects.
"Hesitant pa rin po sila sa bakuna kaya ako pa lang po ang nabakunahan... [Ngayon] sasabin ko po na importante magpa-vaccine kasi protection po iyon laban sa COVID-19," Real said.
(They are hesitant about the vaccine so I'm the only one vaccinated so far... now I will them that it's important to get vaccinated to be protected against COVID-19.)
Theresita Atienza, president of the Quezon City University, said that with enough vaccine supply, they are ready to inoculate students from other schools.