CHEd lifts COVID-19 vax requirement for face-to-face classes

By: Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | August 29,2022 - 08:09 PM
CHED CHAIRMAN. Commission on Higher Education chair Prospero de Vera III. FILE PHOTO

Commission on Higher Education chair Prospero de Vera III. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines —  COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required for students and personnel attending face-to-face classes in colleges and universities this school year, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman Prospero de Vera announced Monday.

De Vera said that the panel had updated the rules because of international best practices for dealing with COVID-19 variations, data from the Department of Health (DOH), universities’ insights, and health professionals’ recommendations.

“Students and HEI [higher education institution] personnel, regardless of vaccination status, can participate in face-to-face classes. That is the most significant change in policy,” De Vera said in a press conference.

Among the considerations made for this policy-change, De Vera said, is that vaccination levels in the country are already high and the risk of COVID-19 infection is lower and easier to control.

“We are changing it because vaccination levels are high and the percentage of at-risk individuals is significantly lower now and therefore, easier to control on the part of our HEIs,” he said.

De Vera also noted that other countries have also already taken out the vaccination requirements, enabling the Philippines how other countries have been doing it to apply it in the country.

“Of course, the views of our health experts are that those who are at risk do not tend to be the higher education age group. It’s relatively older and those with comorbidities etcetera,” he added.

Higher education institutions must consult stakeholders, primarily teachers, and students, about this year’s learning modality.

Health protocols, such as requiring the accomplishment of health declaration forms and body temperature checks, will likewise be under the institution’s discretion.

They are also tasked with spreading awareness and encouraging vaccination against COVID-19 among students and staff, especially through booster doses.

“In the next couple of weeks, I will start another round of campus-based vaccination programs now to capture the rest of the unvaccinated students and also to push for boosters,” De Vera said. — Catherine Dabu, INQUIRER.net trainee

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, CHED, CHED chairman, colleges, COVID-19 vaccination, face-to-face classes, HEIs, higher education institution, Prospero de Vera, universities

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