Cebu City

University of Cebu targets vaccinating over 38,000 students against COVID-19

John Sitchon
University of Cebu targets vaccinating over 38,000 students against COVID-19

VACCINATIONS. Vaccinations in University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue for the elderly.

Subangdaku Barangay Captain Ernie Manatad

(1st UPDATE)The goal of the University of Cebu is prepare for face-to-face classes in all levels

University of Cebu (UC) jumpstarted its plan to vaccinate against COVID-19 more than 38,000 adult college students, Chancellor Candice Gotianuy said on a Facebook post on Sunday, October 17

“We are currently coordinating with the appropriate heads to make this as seamless as possible. We would like to reach herd immunity for Cebu. When this happens, we can have face-to-face classes for all levels,” she wrote in her post.

Gotianuy’s statement followed the moves of multiple universities here to to determine the population of still unvaccinated students. This came after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said on Monday, October 11, that it was studying the possibility of allowing limited face-to-face classes

At the moment, only selected degree programs, such as medical and engineering programs, have been given the go-signal for limited face-to-face classes. Since January, some medical schools in the Philippines have been allowed to hold face-to-face classes.

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“UC has 38,000+ students who are 18 and above. We would make half the population (of Cebu City) if all our campuses are included,” said Gotianuy.

Plan of action

The University of Cebu’s roadmap included a university-wide survey which more than half of target respondents have answered.

“We have reached 51% of respondents. Let’s reach 100% this week,” Gotianuy said.

After completing the survey, the University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMed) would then prepare online forms provided by the Department of Health (DOH). 

Gotianuy said registered students could use 15 university buses for transport to the vax centers. The buses, she added, will also be accessible to the students’ families and friends if they register.

“UC is doing its part by making this as easy as possible for you to get vaxxed. It’s been 2 years- let’s really live in this new normal. Return to F2F (face to face),” said Gotianuy.

“This [the pilot vaccination program] could not have happened without the help of DOT secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat and Secretary Vince Dizon,” Gotianuy told Rappler.

“It was actually secretary Puyat’s idea to push for vaccinated teachers and students. She said, why don’t we do a pilot program? What she did, she got Sec Dizon on board, and Sec Dizon from the get-go was very supportive. He’s been pushing for all schools to get vaccinated, not just UC,” added Gotianuy.

Coordination with LGUs, health sector

The University Of Cebu – Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue Campus, Banilad Campus, and Alcantara Campus are being used as makeshift vaccination centers in collaboration with city governments, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV),  Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), and DOH through Project Balik Buhay (PBB).

Other private universities like the University of San Carlos (USC), Southwestern University PHINMA, and Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu, have also offered their campuses as vaccination sites.

“We are currently coordinating with CHED for the vaccination of college students who are above 18 years old in the city. We are just waiting for their master list to make sure there are no issues during inoculation,” said Cebu City Health Department head, Dr. Jeffrey Ibones.

Ibones said they would open their services even to students outside UC who are eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Based on statistics presented by Dr. Mary Jean Loreche in a Visayas Vaccine Operations Center (VVOC) briefing on Monday, October 18, Metro Cebu LGUs have fully vaccinated 46.97% of their entire eligible population, with 54.13% receiving their first dose alone.

As of October 17, a total of 2,268,685 vaccine doses have been administered in all parts of Cebu.

In a text message to Rappler, Loreche confirmed they would coordinate with the university for the conduct of vaccinations for the college students. –