July 3, 2021 (7:34 PM)

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FIRST DOSE. Volunteer health workers administer the first dose of Sinovac vaccine to AdDU faculty and staff. Photo by Gwyneth Marie Vasquez

After being identified as one of the sites for the city government’s vaccination program, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) on Friday began the first leg of COVID-19 vaccination for more than 400 members of its faculty and staff.

According to AdDU Executive Vice President Jeremy “Bong” Eliab, 500 doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines arrived this morning at AdDU. 

More jabs will be administered on July 3, 9, and 10 to remaining AdDU staff and Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) employees. 

“I say this is a grace that we received today because we did not expect this. We are waiting for our procured vaccines through the government but until now we don’t have any news at all,” he told Atenews.

Eliab explained that AdDU made its facilities and medical team available upon the offer of the city government to the DACS. This means, he said, that the city government will supply the vaccines while AdDU’s volunteer medical team will administer jabs to the DACS employees.

Atty. Pilariza Racho-Baldovino, Registrar of AdDU’s Senior High School Unit, was the first to be vaccinated at the Arrupe Hall.

“I work from home and so if I were to go out knowing that I am vaccinated, to me it is already fulfilling that, which ingrained already in the Ateneo educator that we must be responsible also for others. So this is my way of showing that responsibility. It’s cura personalis,” she said.

“I hope that many of us will avail of this, that we will not be scared of consequences that we don’t actually know if they exist,” she added.

University Clinics Director Jocelyn Ferraren reported that they did not encounter any adverse reactions from the vaccinated employees. 

“I think it’s a success because, serving 400 plus, that’s a big number,” she said.

With more than 90 volunteer personnel and health workers from across Davao City, the vaccination quota was met at around 3:00 in the afternoon. Ferraren added they would aim to cater 800 more AdDU and DACS employees tomorrow for COVID-19 jabs.

Vaccination for students still a far cry —Eliab

Meanwhile, vaccination for AdDU students remains elusive, according to EVP Eliab.

Despite AdDU’s capacity to provide a venue and medical team, he said they would still have to follow the government’s prioritization scheme.

“Wala pa kasi eh. According to the priority of the government right now, we are only vaccinating A1, A2, A3, and A4. The students are somewhere at B so we have to follow that,” he said.

Eliab clarified that the vaccines being administered currently at AdDU are procured by the government and not by the University. 

“… this [vaccination] is just an assistance to the city government so that the 4000 or 5000 personnel of DACS won’t crowd the public vaccination sites so ma lessen na rin sila doon kasi dito na sila just for four days,” he said. 

“We want to do this this way so that they are also protected kasi especially classes will be beginning so more or less they are protected for this school year.”

It can be remembered that AdDU through the Philippine government has placed an order for the Covavax vaccine last March (READ: AdDU enlists employees, scholars for University-funded vaccination). However, Eliab in a previous townhall conversation with students disclosed that the arrival of these doses remains unforeseen. (READ: No blended learning in AdDU)

On whether AdDU would still host the vaccination of Priority Group B students, Eliab said this is still uncertain. 

“I don’t know if we will operate still at that time but I guess there will be more vaccination sites when the B category will be opened kasi this is for the general population already,” he said.

“We have still to discuss that kasi most of these people who are reporting here are volunteers. They are not paid,” he clarified.



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