Ceremonial vaccination of tertiary student-athletes (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) underscored the need to get all student-athletes vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first before they are allowed to resume training and participate in the actual games.

In a virtual presser for the ceremonial vaccination of tertiary student-athletes on Wednesday, Oct. 20, CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera said that the Commission and other concerned organizations have been preparing for the resumption of collegiate sports leagues since 2020.

“We’re not starting from scratch,” he said, noting that vaccination of student-athletes is a very important step for the resumption of sports-related activities at the tertiary level.

“This is one of the continuing Padyak events that we are doing,” De Vera said. CHEd’s vaccination caravan will go around higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country to encourage the students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There is no vaccination hesitancy among the young people and we hope to spread the message that vaccines are available for students,” De Vera said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Vaccination, De Vera added, will also help slowly bring back the students to schools amidst the pandemic because this will “put additional layer of protection” for everyone in the academic community or school setting.

Aside from De Vera, the event was also attended Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, National Task Force for COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., CHED Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro, and University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84 President Emmanuel Calanog.

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