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Silliman to purchase Covid vaccines

Silliman University president Betty Cernol McCann emphasized the importance of vaccination in the fight against the Covid-19*

The Silliman University in Dumaguete City will procure doses of the Covovax vaccine for its faculty and staff members, including part-time and adjunct faculty, retirees, and one dependent for each employee.

“In this battle against the pandemic, the more individuals we draw into our circle of health security, the better chance we have in winning this fight,” SU president Betty Cernol McCann said as she emphasized the importance of vaccinating as many people as possible in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019.

“By extending preventive measures from the workplace to the home environment, we establish more allies to help us launch an effective campaign,” she added in a press release from the school.

During a recent webinar of the faculty and staff on the SU vaccination program, Joshua Francisco Ablong, Human Resource Development manager, said the rollout dates may happen in the months of July, August, and September 2021.

The University will shoulder the cost of the vaccines.

Since only one dependent will be covered by the SU vaccination program, Ablong said faculty and staff members who wish to acquire additional vaccines for the rest of their household may order through the University but the cost must be paid by the employee.

The vaccination program is one of the university’s strategies in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and    McCann said it aims to create a safer work environment on the campus.

“The combination of getting vaccinated and strictly observing health safety protocols against the virus continues to be the best measure to ensure protection and the sensible way forward to combat Covid-19,” she added.

SU ordered the vaccines from Unilab Inc., the official distributor of Covovax for the private sector.

Covovax is a two-dose vaccine developed by US-based Novavax and the Serum Institute of India.

Based on Novavax’s preliminary data from its clinical trials on individuals between 18 to 84 years old, Covovax has an efficacy rate of 95.6 percent against SARS-COV-2, 85.6 percent against the UK variant, and 60.10 percent against the South African variant, the press release said.

“In choosing the brand, the administration looked into efficacy rates, availability, cost, and their possible side effects,” Ablong said during the webinar.

Two doses of the Covovax vaccine cost P2,240, including the VAT and fees for other expenses, like logistics and transportation.

The faculty and staff members must first get a medical clearance from their attending physician to know if they are qualified to get the vaccine. When they arrive at the accredited vaccination facility where the vaccination will take place, they will be assessed through a triage as part of the Department of Health’s protocols.

The program is parallel to the vaccination efforts of the government and is purely voluntary, Ablong said.

McCann said the administration has planned for the vaccination program since January. “The University has been monitoring vaccination programs on the international scene and has been studying various vaccine performances as published by regulatory bodies. In late January 2021, the university administration mulled over a vaccine plan for the institution as we prepare to open as a ‘healthy’ university in the event we transition in-person learning in August 2021. The Board of Trustees is fully supportive of this plan.”

The University administration is yet to distribute order forms for the vaccination program.*

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June 2023

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