February 18, 2021 (7:45 PM)

3 min read


VACCINATION. Councilor and Chairperson of the Committee on Health in Davao City, Mary Joselle Villafuerte, dismisses AdDU’s push for mandatory vaccination as a requirement for work and face-to-face classes. Photo taken from https://edgedavao.net/

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte said private companies and schools cannot require its employees and students yet to get vaccinated for face-to-face classes as the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), in a webinar last Wednesday.

Her statement was in response to a question by AdDU President Fr. Joel Tabora, “[C]an an administrator of a private company or school require its employees to be vaccinated as a condition of work or study in face-to-face situations?”

Two weeks ago, the university was considering—for proposed blended learning—mandatory vaccination for those who will enter the campus.

READ: https://atenews.ph/news/finance-expects-no-tofi-next-sy-but-other-fees-to-be-reinstated-if-addu-goes-blended

Villafuerte, also the chairperson of the Committee on Health in Davao City, answered Tabora that as of now “dahil naka EUA pa sila, bawal po maging mandatory siya” [because the vaccines are still under EUA, it is prohibited to be mandatory].

Moreover, according to Vice President for Finance Jimmy Delgado, the university is planning to provide vaccines for students and faculty, with the vaccine fees added to the tuition fee and reduced from employees’ salaries.

The Councilor said private institutions can purchase vaccines for their employees, but have to include the Department of Health (DOH) and vaccine manufacturer in the tripartite agreement.

There is currently no commercially available vaccine as these are all government-procured.

DOH is now finalizing the masterlist of healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

Dr. Janis Olavides, Program Manager of National Immunization of DOH Region XI, said getting in the masterlist does not mean that vaccination is mandatory.

“There is still a final provision of a consent form during the conduct of the activity,” she said.

But it has to be understood, Olavides stressed, that the vaccines are “too precious to be wasted”.

“That’s why when we open one vial, it should be established already who will receive these vaccines,” she said.

Villafuerte said patients’ rights will be respected.

“If you are not ready, then no one will force you. Ang amo lang hangyo, na magpa-masterlist mo [Our only request is you include yourself in the masterlist] so that in case you change your mind, you can be vaccinated,” she said.

Dr. Judith Dalagan of the College Faculty Union called the vaccination “a kind of paradox”.

“While we make it voluntary, but if we really have to help our country recover economically, I can see that eventually it has to become compulsory (to prevent the spread of the virus),” she said.

Group B Priority

Teachers, school workers, and students 18 years old and above are under Group B in the prioritization list.

They are joined by Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL), Persons with Disability (PWD), those living in high density areas, other government and essential workers, Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and the remaining workforce.

READ: https://atenews.ph/news/students-the-last-to-get-covid-19-vaccines-health-workers-elderly-the-poor-prioritized

Dalagan said the prioritization “does not seem to match” with the country’s situation.

“There is a strong demand for us to reinvigorate the economy and to do that everyone has to be safe […] but the essential workers are put on Class B,” she said, adding the Philippines might “lag behind” other countries.

AdDU is one of the schools being tapped to be one of the vaccination sites, with the vaccine rollout projected to happen next year.

The Zoom webinar ‘The COVID-19 Vaccination Program for the ADDU Community’ was held by the AdDU University Research Council.

End the silence of the gagged!

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