VACCINATED. A young boy receives the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jab in one of the vaccination centers in Bacolod City in July. On Thursday (Aug. 11, 2022), the Bacolod City Health Office strongly advised parents to have their children vaccinated against Covid-19 as a precaution for the opening of classes on August 22. (File photo courtesy Bacolod City Public Information Office)

BACOLOD CITY – The City Health Office (CHO) here is advising parents to have their children vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as a precautionary measure for the opening of classes on August 22.

Dr. Carmela Gensoli, city health officer, said on Thursday they could not force vaccination among minors, but hopes the parents would consider the additional protection for their children.

“If you are a parent, would you want your vaccinated kids to be exposed to those who are unvaccinated?” she said.

Gensoli said the Department of Education (DepEd) is coordinating with the CHO in the implementation of infection control plans for the start of classes.

“Our sanitary inspectors are checking the schools to see if they are following the health protocols,” she added.

Latest data released by the Department of Health-Western Visayas showed a total of 15,716 minors aged 5 to 11 to be fully vaccinated in this city as of August 9.

The number is equivalent to 27.47 percent of the target 57,216 minors in the said age group.

Some 21,002 children or 36.71 percent have availed of the first dose.

On Wednesday, the DepEd said it is coordinating with the DOH to promote the government’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, maintaining its position that vaccination remains voluntary and no one will be discriminated against to address the learning loss.

Under DepEd Order 34, schools are required to come up with an infection containment strategy.

Beginning Nov. 2, all public and private schools should have transitioned to five days of in-person classes.

Thereafter, no school will be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning except for those carrying out alternative delivery modes. (PNA)