University President Fr. Mars P. Tan SJ announced through Memorandum #U2021-071 XU’s plans to provide free doses of Novavax vaccines to all employees and students, 18 years old and above who have not yet availed early vaccines from the Local Government Units (LGUs). The order has been submitted through UNILAB and is scheduled to arrive in October 2021.
According to University Health Services Office Director Dr. Augusto Guitarte Jr, the vaccines would have arrived in July or August this year, but due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in India, the target date was delayed and the vaccines will arrive in October this year.
The initial number of Novavax vaccine doses planned to order was 10,650 doses. “Because some of them [XU employees and students] have availed already sa government vaccines, possible na siya mo-gamay or madugangan,” Guitarte added. The final number of total doses is yet to be decided.
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The administration of vaccines will follow the Department of Health (DOH) vaccination priority list. Under Priority Eligible B, employees will receive the vaccines first before the students who are under Priority Eligible C. According to Guitarte, in terms of the venue, it was suggested that the Novavax vaccines will be administered in Maria Reyna Hospital where there is complete equipment and personnel.
Guitarte shared that the course of action is very beneficial for the XU community especially with the slow-moving pace of the government’s vaccine rollout. According to Guitarte, “With that vaccine, of course, ang estudyante makauna gyud kaysa sa kaning sa government pa so makatabang gyud sa students.”
Because of the slow progress towards national herd immunity, Guitarte emphasized that face-to-face classes next year are unlikely. As of July 27, only 10.22 percent of Filipinos have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, Guitarte highly suggested registering for vaccination as soon as you are eligible to receive government-provided vaccines.C