Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio has asked the Department of Health not to tap teachers for its vaccination program in schools as they prepare for the opening of classes this month.
“Vice President reminded us to spare our public school teachers from our vaccination program in schools as they have several tasks during the start of the school year,” DOH officer-in-charge Rosario Vergeire said.
“So we will be coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government so that the local government healthcare workers will be the ones to do the vaccination in schools,” she added.
Schools have been identified as venues for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots as cases continue to increase amid waning immunity and the presence of several Omicron subvariants.
DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa earlier said COVID-19 vaccination is still not mandatory for students who will be participating in face-to-face classes.
As part of the health protocols, Vergeire said there would be safety officers in schools to monitor the students, teachers and non-teaching personnel.
Poa said at least 13.1 million students have already enrolled for the upcoming academic year.
Of this number, 6,118,690 students are from elementary levels, 4,221,840 from junior high school, 1,940,621 from senior high school, and 870,914 from kindergarten.
Poa said the turnout of the ongoing enrollment this school year is “significantly higher” than that of the previous year.
“It does appear from the trend that our learners are excited to go back to in-person classes,” he added.