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Inclusion of education personnel in vax priority list hailed

April 16, 2021 - Friday 7:04 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image DISTANCE LEARNING. A teacher holds an online class. Teachers are now included in the A4 priority list for Covid-19 vaccination. (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday welcomed the inclusion of teaching and non-teaching personnel in public and private schools in the vaccine priority list.

"The Department of Education would like to thank President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) for approving the appeal of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones to finally include basic education front-liners in the A4 priority category of the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan," the statement read.

The agency said vaccination is a "key component of any roadmap to the resumption of face-to-face classes."

"With the adjustment of vaccine prioritization (from B1 to A4) for basic education front-liners, we can speed up the rollout of vaccines among our teachers," it added.

Under Resolution No. 110 issued by the IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, front-line personnel in basic education and higher education institutions (HEIs) and agencies are included in the A4 priority list for Covid-19 vaccination.

In a statement on April 15, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson J. Prospero de Vera III also lauded the IATF for recognizing the critical role of higher education personnel as “front-liners".

De Vera said HEI personnel need to be prioritized as the current semester is about to end and that the documents of students who would continue their studies or will graduate must be processed with no delay.

“If we don't vaccinate our education front-liners, we run the risk of students not being able to enroll next school year or having graduates who can't take their licensure examinations or are unable to look for employment because of missing credentials,” he said.

“HEI 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 added.

The country has so far secured more than 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, of which, around 1.25 million have been administered mostly to health care workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities.

Vaccination started in March this year, with the government targeting to inoculate up to 70 million individuals to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora