IATF urged to include teachers in higher priority group for COVID-19 vaccination | Inquirer News

IATF urged to include teachers in higher priority group for COVID-19 vaccination

/ 07:49 PM March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is urging the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to prioritize teachers in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

Under House Joint Resolution No. 35, Marikina Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo underscored the “urgent need” to vaccinate teachers “in order to facilitate the transition of the education sector into face-to-face or in-person classroom learning and to ensure the safe and sustainable continuity of education amidst and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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According to the lawmaker, teachers, along with social workers, have been assigned to the B1 group in the vaccine program’s current order of prioritization.

READ: LIST: Priority groups for government’s Covid-19 vaccination program

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However, Quimbo said that vaccination for their category can only begin after inoculation for the preceding categories has been completed.

In the case of the B1 category, its preceding categories include A1 (frontline workers in health facilities), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with comorbidities), A4 (frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel), and A5 (indigent population).

Thus, Quimbo said teachers should be moved from the B1 category to A4.

“During this time of the pandemic, teachers perform frontline functions for the education sector in the conduct of their professional responsibilities, such as going to schools to access internet connectivity for synchronous classes, printing and preparing modules for the students, and physically meeting students for consultations and delivery of modules, among others,” Quimbo said.

“Teachers are risking their health and safety in order to ensure continuity in the delivery of education to Filipino learners because they necessarily step outside their homes and interact with people for the performance of their duties,” she added.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, earlier said teachers should be included in the prioritized groups for the roll-out of the vaccine against  COVID-19.

Gatchalian said that giving teachers the COVID-19 vaccine would help ensure the safety of school premises and in building confidence for the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes.

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READ: Include teachers in priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, says Gatchalian

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TAGS:  Stella Luz Quimbo, COVID-19 Vaccine, teacher
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