ABOUT 300 student-athletes from different universities in Metro Manila received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

The vaccination, dubbed “Padyak para sa flexible learning: Sama-samang vaccination program,” was spearheaded by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), Philippine Sports Commission and the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19. It was held at the Ched headquarters at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The NTF said in a press release Thursday, October 21, that simultaneous vaccinations were also conducted in several universities in the country.

Ched Chairman Prospero De Vera said educational frontliners were classified before under the general population, but have now been reclassified as essential workers.

“Earlier in April, we were able to convince the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) to classify education frontliners as an essential sector,” he said.

He added that they do not see any form of vaccine hesitancy among the youth sector who have shown their willingness to get inoculated.

NTF Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., for his part, said the National Government will ensure the protection of student-athletes against Covid-19.

“Sa patuloy na pagpapalawak ng ating vaccination program, tinitiyak ng pamahalaan ang pangangalaga sa kalusugan ng ating atleta. Sa pamamagitan ng ating vaccination program, ang ating mga atleta, ay maaari na makapag-ensayo ng ligtas at may kapanatagan ng loob,” he said.

Galvez urged all students to get vaccinated, saying this will be the key to bring back a greater sense of normalcy in the country.

As of October 20, the government has administered a total of 53,838,248 doses nationwide, based on the data from the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard. Of the number, 28,961,359 have received their first dose while 24,876,889 got their second dose. (LMY/With PR/SunStar Philippines)