A MEMBER of the House committee on health on Saturday underscored the importance for the government to provide free coronavirus disease-19 (COCID-19) vaccine to all public school students and teachers from kindergarten to college.
“(Free COVID-19 vaccination)must include all public school students and teachers, as well as government financial aid student recipients enrolled in private schools,” BHW party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, a friend and ally of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) led by House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as President.
“Effective adjustment to life under the new normal can be best achieved by having the students and teachers vaccinated, so they can return to their schools for face-to-face classroom sessions,” said Co, a member of the House committee on health, said.
Co said the current national government goal of vaccinating only 20 million of the country’s poorest Filipinos “would not be enough because that counts only the parents of the students enrolled from Kindergarten to College.”
“However, students with the financial means because they are from upper middle class and rich families pay for their own COVID-19 vaccination or get at least 50 percent PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) subsidy,” Co explained.
“Although the home is everyone’s first school, the bottom line is that inadequate are all efforts to conduct formal schooling through modules, blended learning, online learning, and distance learning via tv and radio. All of those efforts are coping mechanisms,” he said.
“We must safely return to classroom sessions at the soonest after COVID-19 vaccination happens. To do this, the national government must have more free vaccines available. If the national budget is not enough, then the Department of Finance must source funding from loans and grants,” Co said.
“Our barangay health workers can and should be at the forefront of the national immunization operations. As health frontliners, BHWs must also be among the firsts to be vaccinated for the protection of everyone they will be helping with,” Co added.