CHED Chair J. Prospero De Vera III (File photo)

MANILA – Close to 30 percent of enrolled college students have already received their first dose of Covid-19 jab, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair J. Prospero De Vera III said on Wednesday.

"More than one million students have already received at least one dose of vaccine," de Vera said in a message to reporters.

He was reacting to a joint statement from left-leaning groups stating the CHED and Department of Education (DepEd) are deficient of key health protection measures, including vaccination, for the safe resumption of limited face-to-face classes.

De Vera said only vaccinated students and school personnel are allowed to do limited in-person classes.

"Higher education institutions (HEIs) are already doing school-based vaccination since October 15, 2021," he said. "We are targeting November and December as vaccination months for higher education students.”

He said even the antigen testing was already “thoroughly discussed” with local government units (LGUS).

"The requirement for antigen testing is already being discussed with LGUs. It was thoroughly discussed in my meeting with Metro Manila mayors recently. It is being tackled in a TWG (technical working group)," de Vera said.

For HEIs to apply for opening of limited in-person classes, de Vera explained they are required to "retrofit their facilities which does not only include addition of electric fans in the classrooms".

He noted retrofitting of facilities includes spacing of seats, equipment and all areas where there is foot traffic; separate entrance and exits; assessment of ventilation in all facilities, directional signs, and instructions in all rooms.

"There is a 24-page joint CHED-DOH (Department of Health) Guidelines that contains all these requirements. I urge the groups who made the statement to read these guidelines," he said. (PNA)