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Velasco proposes using medical students as vaccine dispensers to increase vaccination rates.

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said on Monday that allowing medical and nursing students to volunteer as vaccinators under the government’s National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment and Vaccination Program will help the government achieve its critical public health goal of vaccinating 90 percent of the population.

According to Velasco, the Covid-19 vaccine is one of the most significant tools for overcoming the virus and returning to regular life.

“By involving doctors and nursing students in the immunization effort, the government will quickly extend access to Covid-19 vaccinations, which is critical to achieving the herd immunity threshold we need to resume normal life,” Velasco said in a statement.

Due to a lack of health workers in the country, Velasco has been asking the government to use nursing graduates who have yet to take the board exams as supplemental labor.

Through a unique arrangement with the Professional Regulation Commission, he claimed, these “underboard” nurses can work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said on Saturday that interns, clinical clerks, and fourth-year medicine and nursing students can now become vaccinators and participate in the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program.

This follows the release of Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-003, titled “Interim Guidelines on the Voluntary Participation of Postgraduate/Undergraduate Interns, Clinical Clerks, and Fourth Year Nursing Students in the Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment and Vaccination Program,” by the CHED and the Department of Health (DOH).

Under the guidance of qualified physicians and nurses, these students can volunteer as health screeners, vaccinators, and pre/post-vaccination monitors.

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