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Catholic university joins Filipino vaccine drive

University of the Immaculate Conception in Davao City to become the main vaccination site in southern Philippines

Catholic university joins Filipino vaccine drive

The University of the Immaculate Conception is to become the main Covid-19 vaccination center in the Philippine's Mindanao region. (Photo: Unsplash) 

A group of religious sisters in Davao province in the Philippines have agreed to allow their university campus to become the focal point of the government’s Covid vaccine drive in the south of the country.

It would make the University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) in Davao City, run by the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) sisters, the largest vaccination site in the Mindanao region.

The RVM sisters are the largest female congregation in the Philippines and run 58 schools and universities.

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“We are most willing to help in the government’s vaccine program by allowing vaccine activities within our campus,” university president Sister Marissa Viri told reporters.

The decision was made easier because face-to-face classes have been suspended for almost a year across the entire country.

“At least we can do something to help our country combat coronavirus while classes are online. We want to maximize the use of our facilities here to help those in need,” Sister Viri added.

Bishops’ conference president Archbishop Romullo Valles thanked the nuns for their commitment to fellow Filipinos.

“Thank you, sisters, for opening your university to this effort. Now we can say to our government leaders that a Catholic school in the region is the most willing to help in the vaccination campaign,” Archbishop Valles said in a radio interview.

He said the bishops have offered various church facilities such as schools as accommodation to help health workers and the homeless during the pandemic.

"We would repeat the same call this time for vaccination sites," he said. “We need Gospel-inspired actions not only from priests or bishops but from institutions such as schools. We need to be reminded of goodness and the need to care for each other. Each of us can share in this collective effort to combat and end this pandemic.”

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