COVID-19 Fact Checks

MISSING CONTEXT: Teachers will be part of vaccination teams

MISSING CONTEXT: Teachers will be part of vaccination teams
The role of teachers in vaccination teams will be for health education only. The vaccination itself will be done by health professionals.
At a glance:
  • Claim: Public school teachers will join vaccination teams that will undergo training.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: The role of teachers in vaccination teams will be for health education only. The vaccination itself will be done by health professionals.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was emailed by a Rappler reader for verification. One post containing this claim, also spotted through social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, gained 2,500 reactions, 863 comments, and 6,100 shares as of writing.
Complete details:

A viral post contains a photo saying public school teachers will be joining vaccination teams that will be trained.

Public school teachers isasali sa vaccination teams na sasailalim sa training,” reads the text in the photo. (Public school teachers will join vaccination teams that will undergo training.)

The poster says, “[Sabi ko na] hindi lang sa pagtuturo ang skills naming mga guro, baka magshift na ko sa pagiging nurse.” (I knew it, our skills as teachers are not just limited to teaching, I might shift to become a nurse.)

The claim was emailed by a Rappler reader for verification. This post was also spotted through social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, and it has gained 2,500 reactions, 863 comments, and 6,100 shares as of writing.

The post is missing context. Teachers are to be part of the vaccination campaign teams, but they will assist in health education only.

On January 11, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III presented the Department of Health’s strategic plan for COVID-19 vaccination to the Senate committee of the whole. During the presentation, he outlined the operational guidelines for the vaccination campaign teams.

Vaccination teams will consist of 6 members each, with professionals having specific roles – screening and assessment, health education, vaccination, and documenter/recorder and vital signs taking. Teachers are assigned to health education tasks. Vaccination will be done by a doctor, nurse, or midwife.

VACCINATION TEAM COMPOSITION. Screenshot from DOH Presentation during the Senate committee of the whole hearing on January 11

Duque explained that vaccination will have multiple parts, including one for pre-vaccination, health education, and final consent. This will involve, among others, counseling for people who will be vaccinated and an opportunity for them to ask questions about the vaccine and possible adverse effects.

VACCINE ADMINISTRATION POLICIES. Screenshot from DOH Presentation during the Senate committee of the whole hearing on January 11

On January 15, during another Senate hearing on the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program, Duque said that public school teachers are the ones being eyed to be initial volunteers.

He said that the department will develop a “cadre of competent healthcare and allied medical professionals” who will be trained to implement the vaccination plan.

Duque added that participation is not mandatory for teachers. “Pinakamaganda o angkop na papel [na] kanila pong gagampanan ay sa health education, para magabayan ang mga babakunahan kung ano po ang dapat nilang bantayan, ano po ang mga posibleng side effects, at kung paano po ito irereport sa mga tamang kinakaukulang awtoridad,” he added.

(The most appropriate role for them is health education, so that those who will be vaccinated will be guided as to what they should look out for, what the possible side effects are, and how to report these to the authorities.)

The Philippines aims to conduct its mass immunization campaign against COVID-19 in February. Its goal is to cover 50 million to 70 million Filipinos in 2021 alone. (READ: EXPLAINER: What to expect once COVID-19 vaccines arrive in the Philippines) – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com

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