Pagadian City inoculates over 8K students after restricting unvaxxed in F2F classes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — More than 8,000 students in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur have been given shots against COVID-19 over the past three weeks after officials initially decided to forbid unvaccinated learners in face-to-face classes, the city’s mayor said Friday.

Pagadian Mayor Samuel Co said Department of Education (DepEd) officials and school principals set the restriction after they found there were more than 9,000 unvaccinated students in the city.

"What happened is napilitan talaga 'yong mga parents na hindi nagpa-vaccinate na dalhin ang anak nila [sa vaccination center]," said Co in a public briefing. "And hindi namin pinabakuna 'yong mga bata if the parents also hindi nakabakuna, so damay-damay na."

[Translation: What happened is parents who decided not to get vaccinated were forced to bring their children to vaccination centers. We also did not inoculate children whose parents were unvaccinated, so everyone was affected.]

Although less than a thousand students still have to get their COVID-19 vaccines, Co said schools in Pagadian City will now accept unvaccinated students in in-person classes, following the directive of the DepEd.

The "no discrimination" policy of the DepEd, which allows learners and school personnel to attend face-to-face classes whether or not they are vaccinated against COVID-19, had been carried out since Aug. 22, the first day of classes in the country. 

Co said more than 13,000 locals were vaccinated in the past three weeks.