Briones urges teachers, other DepEd workers to get vaccinated vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Teachers and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) should get vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure that they would not infect students and other individuals they might get in contact with should in-person classes resume, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Wednesday during an online visit to Davao Region.
“We at the Department of Education would like to encourage our teachers to be vaccinated because it is not only a matter of protecting your personal rights, but it is also a matter of protecting the lives and health of children and staff who are also entrusted in our care,” Briones said, speaking partly in Filipino.
According to her, teachers would have no excuse since they had been moved up to the A4 category in the vaccination priority list.
“The teachers have been upgraded in the ranking along with other frontliners who directly deal with the public,” Briones said.
“Our appeal, what we are pointing out here is we will be dealing with the children. We will be protecting the children and perhaps our teachers will consider it as part of their responsibility to protect the lives of those who are entrusted to us,” she added.
According to Briones, some teachers need not wait for A4 prioritization in certain instances:
• When they are also medical frontliners, which classifies them as A1
• When they are senior citizens, which classifies them as A2
• When they have co-morbidities, which classifies them as A3
Briones also asked teachers to encourage members of their community so that they would have more confidence in getting vaccinated.
One way they could do so is through “Vacc2School: Ligtas na Bakuna Para sa Balik-Eskwela,” a DepEd program that prepares teaching and non-teaching personnel for the possible resumption of face-to-face classes.
“Teachers must be champions for the vaccine in their respective communities. We are continuously conducting information campaigns as well as surveys to monitor the responses of our teachers to this policy,” Briones said.
The government is banking on COVID-19 vaccines to restore normalcy and move the economy forward after undergoing its worst recession in 2020. Increased vaccination coverage is also expected to check the recent surge in active COVID-19 cases, which balloon to over 200,000 during its peak in April.
As of Tuesday, however, only two million individuals have gotten their first dose of the vaccine, even though the country already had over seven million vaccine vials.
Several government officials — like Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate — have also complained of the national government’s slow vaccine rollout, which they fear may delay the goal of achieving herd immunity.
As of Wednesday, the country’s active case count continued to go down, just at 53,214.
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