Health dep’t readies COVID jabs for use in schools
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is set to identify the public schools that will turn into jabbing sites in a bid to ramp up inoculation and make vaccines more accessible to children and teens who have yet to complete their primary series or get boosted against COVID-19.
In a media forum on Friday, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said health officials would sit down with local governments to draw up strategies on the planned school-based vaccination in preparation for the start of in-person classes on August 22.
This, she noted, was the only request of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte so as not to delay the resumption of in-person classes in some schools this month.
“I was able to speak with the Vice President during the Cabinet meeting a while ago and she asked how to strategize the vaccination in schools once we open them up,” Vergeire said.
“Her only request was for the classes not to be delayed or hampered. So what we will do is talk to local governments to fix the vaccination schedules of the different schools in the country,” she added.
Vergeire said the DOH was also working with the Department of Education (DepEd) to draft the screening protocols for the safe return to schools of children as well as the teaching and non-teaching personnel.
Aside from the strict enforcement of minimum public health standards, “safety officers” should be designated in every school as “health screening” would be the most important component in ensuring the safety of students and teachers.
“We will appoint safety officers in schools for screening of students and [school] personnel. This is being finalized together with DepEd,” said the health undersecretary.
Meanwhile, the DOH has revised its daily inoculation goals under the “PinasLakas” campaign to reach its vaccination targets in the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.
Vergeire said in the same forum that 443,892 individuals have to be administered with first booster shots daily to meet the 50-percent coverage of first boosters for the target population nationwide. Among the elderly, 20,774 should complete their primary series to achieve the 90-percent coverage among seniors.
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