THE Cebu City Government has begun the vaccination of college students in the city against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) with 150 students at the University of Cebu-Banilad Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of the City Health Department (CHD), said the Cebu City Government targets to vaccinate 65,000 college students in preparation for when face-to-to classes are allowed.
Those who were vaccinated Friday were students of Maritime, Engineering, Tourism and allied medical courses.
Ibones said college students could go to any of Cebu City’s nine vaccination sites.
They just need to bring their IDs, study load, and they also need to have first registered with Pabakunata.com.
Earlier, Ibones said there were about 100,000 college students enrolled in the various universities and colleges in Cebu City, but they could not yet ascertain whether all of these students were permanent residents of the city or from areas outside the city.
Last Sunday, University of Cebu (UC) chancellor Candice Gotianuy said UC alone has more than 38,000 students who are at least 18 years old.
Ibones said there is an adequate supply of vaccines for Cebu City residents and those studying in the city’s universities, as the CHD currently has more than 30,000 doses of the vaccine on hand for the vaccination program of the city.
Cebu City now has at least 342,719 individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or at least 45 percent of the eligible population of the city.
Low F2F infection
Since January, the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has allowed medical and other allied health courses to conduct limited face-to-face (F2F) classes.
In a Laging Handa press briefing Friday, Oct. 22, Ched Chairman Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III de Vera said the guidelines for F2F classes for medical and other allied health courses had been well implemented because the Covid-19 infection rate was less than one percent for students and just one percent for faculty.
None of the infected had been hospitalized or died, which is why, he said, President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the expansion of F2F classes to more courses in September.
Last month, Ched allowed limited face-to-face classes for five more college degree programs that require hands-on experience—engineering and technology programs, hospitality/hotel and restaurant management, tourism/travel management, marine engineering and marine transportation.
As for allowing F2F classes for the rest of the college courses, de Vera said Ched was still studying its feasibility.
He said the vaccination rate of college students nationwide was still low at 27 percent, and there were also other things to consider besides schools being located in low-risk areas for Covid-19 transmission.
He said the vaccination rates of students, faculty and employees should be considered, as well as the vaccination rate of the area in general because students would have to travel from their homes to the schools using public transportation. So it was also important to consider if there was enough public transport and whether the tricycle and jeepney drivers had also been vaccinated already against Covid-19.
The local government unit would have to be part of the planning for the opening of F2F classes because it would be the one to have to solve the problem if transmission were to occur, as it is in charge of contact tracing and placing affected individuals under quarantine.
De Vera said the vaccination rate for college faculty and education personnel nationwide was high at 71 percent after the Ched lobbied with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to move their vaccination priority from B1 to A4 last April. (PAC, CTL)