More than half of the Public School System’s personnel are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada disclosed yesterday that 67% of all PSS—staff and teachers—have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the remaining 33% being unvaccinated on medical and religious grounds.
While there is no mandate to have everyone vaccinated at PSS, similar to the mandatory vaccination issued for the Executive Branch in February, Ada stressed that everyone is encouraged to be vaccinated.
“We’re trying to work with them and be respectful of their bodies. …As much as I want to mandate—I do want to mandate—but we have to be mindful of others,” Ada said, adding, “It’s highly encouraged and highly recommended for all, teachers especially, to be vaccinated.”
The commissioner said that they will be conducting another tally in July, where they set to specifically determine from staff their reasons for not getting vaccinated.
As for students, Ada said that when they received information that the vaccine has been made available to children, he broadcasted to all staff that they are to share with families that the vaccine is now available to children.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced last May 13 that they will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 12- to 15-year-olds beginning May 14, at the MCAT vaccination site, where parental consent forms are required for minors unaccompanied by a parent or a legal guardian. School-based vaccinations are also being planned in selected schools.
“We haven’t gotten back to count to see how many are taking advantage of it. This is individual’s lives,” he added. “Everybody has to be vaccinated with TB, chickenpox, and measles before they enter a class. I think, in due time, [the] COVID-19 [vaccine] will be one of those that will be a requirement…but until they pass a law, then we will have to.”