Vaccination may not be mandatory for returning on-site learners

Covid vaccination may not be mandatory for basic education students who will go back to face-to-face (F-to-F) learning.

This was the position of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the proposal of education officials to expand the number of students returning to on-site learning.

“Instead the IATF strongly encouraged public and private educational institutions for basic education to undertake Covid-19 vaccination programs for their respective learners,” Acting Presidential Spokesman Martin M. Andanar said in a news statement issued on Friday.

The IATF urged educational institutions to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) and concerned local government units (LGU) when holding such vaccination drives.

“The aforesaid Covid-19 vaccination programs shall be conducted with the informed consent given and signed by the parent/guardian, and the assent given by the learner pursuant to applicable DOH guidelines,” Andanar said.

The Department of Education (DepEd) wants more students to return to school since it will allow learners to have a better learning environment.

Economic managers also support the said initiative since it is expected to boost business activities, particularly those related to education.

They estimated the resumption of face-to-face classes in around 61,000 schools would generate P12 billion worth of economic activity per week.

Last month, DepEd said there were already 3 million students participating in limited face-to-face classes nationwide.