Cebu City Health mulls COVID-19 vaccine rollout for college students

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 16,2021 - 07:10 PM
Cebu City Health Department plans to conduct a vaccine rollout for college students. In photo is a health worker preparing a dose of Gamaleya vaccine at the National Center of National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine during the vaccination of residents in Mandaluyong in Manila in this June 15, 2021 photo. AFP file photo

A health worker prepares a dose of Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination for residents in Mandaluyong on July 15, 2021. (File photo from AFP)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Health Department (CHD) is planning for the eventual vaccine rollout to college students in Cebu City.

Doctor Jeffrey Ibones, Cebu City Health Department  officer-in-charge,  said they were coordinating with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the vaccination of college students in preparation for the return of face-to-face classes eventually.

Ibones said there were at least 100,000 college students enrolled in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the city and many of them were not city residents.

Still, should the vaccination for college students begin, all students, who are enrolled regardless of residency, will be vaccinated.

“Dili ta kaingon nga taga Cebu City gyod na sila. As long as naa sila sa Cebu City nag-eskwela, pwede ra gyod ta makapabakuna. Ang pangutana na lang if naa pa sila karon sa Cebu City?,” said the doctor.

(We cannot say that they are from Cebu City. As long as they are schooling in Cebu City, they are allowed to get vaccinated. The question is if are they still here in Cebu City?)

The CHD is asking the CHED and HEIs to provide a masterlist of the students, who are viable for vaccination, so they will be included in the city’s vaccination registry, which is connected to the national registry for vaccinated individuals.

This way, those who have already been vaccinated in Cebu City or elsewhere will be identified and removed from the list automatically. The city expects approximately 65,000 college students that have yet to be vaccinated.

The city government is also drawing up plans on how the vaccination of college students will be implemented, whether it be in the schools or in the usual vaccination sites already currently open.

“Nangita mi ana nila kay 65,000. Kay liman ka daghan pa kaayo na. So far, enough pa sad atong supply sa vaccines,” said Ibones.

(We are looking for them because they are 65,000. Can you believe that that they are still so many of them. So far, our vaccine supply is still enough.)

The CHD has also noted a slowing down in the vaccination rollout, but this is attributed to the fact that the city has reached almost 50 percent of its target population, and those who have remained unvaccinated are those who are still not convinced of the vaccines.

The city is launching awards and raffles to engage the public in the vaccination program, with a house and lot as the grand prize, in hopes increasing the vaccinations.

Ibones said that even the preferred Pfizer vaccines were no longer pulling as much crowds as before.

“Mao na nagsige gyod ta og hangyo, og inform sa mga tawo nga magpabakuna na,” he said.

(That is why we continue to appeal, to inform the people that they should get themselves vaccinated.)

So far, the city has distributed over 500,000 doses to the residents including those, who got their first doses and second doses of the vaccine.

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TAGS: Cebu City Health Department, CHED, college students, Commission on Higher Education, HEIs, higher education institutions, vaccine rollout

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