GDOE welcomes school vaccination legislation

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

The school vaccination bill recently passed by the Legislature would allow the Guam Department of Education to open up health clinics on school campuses.

The Vaccines for Children Program (VCP) is already in place to provide vaccines to children. But as it currently stands, under the federally-funded program, Public Health is the only one allowed to administer vaccines. Additionally, not all students would be eligible to receive the vaccines under VCP.

Senator Louise Muna introduced Bill 2-35, the school vaccination legislation, so that GDOE will have the statutory authority to administer free vaccinations to students under the program.

In an interview with PNC, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said he supports the bill as it will give GDOE the opportunity to possibly open up health centers in schools.

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“In any normal year, we would welcome it and we have been thinking hard and working with the lieutenant governor on the prospect of piloting school health centers around our school system. We’re looking at maybe 2 to 3 schools that we can provide the necessary space and basically turn them into school-based clinics so we can better help our community,” Fernandez said.

The legislature has already passed Bill 2-35 and it is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.