The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Health (DOH) announced that undergraduate medical and nursing students can now volunteer as COVID-19 vaccinators.
Following the released statement of CHED, on November 13, the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-003 is set as guidelines to higher education institutions, hospitals with National Internship Program and all governance levels who aim to volunteer in the National vaccination program.
The post-graduate/undergraduate interns, clinical clerks, and fourth-year medicine and nursing students who will participate can work as health screeners, vaccinators, and pre/post-vaccination monitors.
“The country breached the 1 million daily target for vaccination. As we increase the number of vaccination sites and increase daily targets, these additional vaccinators and support staff are critical to achieve herd immunity in the next two months,” said CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera.
Health professionals will train the student-volunteer while licensed physicians and nurses will be supervising them. CHED said that the student’s volunteer work and completed number of hours will be credited to their internship.
Since October, CHED has been pushing all big private and public higher education institutions to be a temporary vaccination area. And as of now, the total number of HEIs functioning as vaccination centers in the country is 61.
CHED Chairman De Vera stated that “more than 1 million college students have already been vaccinated, this is only about 30% of the target number. We need to rapidly vaccinate more students.”
All CHED regional offices have been instructed to work with higher education institutions that medicine and nursing student-volunteer vaccinators will work with the DOH. Then, local LGU’s will assign these student volunteers to the various vaccination sites regardless of the area’s risk classification as categorized by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).