After the Central government had asked states and UTs to vaccinate teachers and non-teaching staff at schools on priority ahead of Teachers’ Day, as many as 80 per cent of teachers across the country have been vaccinated, reveals the Education Ministry.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Education, about 80 per cent of teachers, non-teaching staff across the country have been vaccinated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine across states and Union Territories. The government aims to vaccinate all the teachers with at least the first dose of vaccination by September 5 which is marked as Teachers’ Day.
Most doses have been reportedly administered in Delhi with as many as 98% of teachers and staff in both private and government schools. Tamil Nadu till last week reported 90% vaccination among teachers. All states have also been asked to update data about the vaccination of teachers twice a week on a Google tracker.
More than two crore additional vaccine doses were dispatched to the states from August 27 to 31 to vaccinate teachers on priority, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed. This was done ahead of schools reopening across the country. Several states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana among others have reopened schools. The phase-wise reopening of schools began on September 1. Since there is no vaccine available for kids yet, vaccination among adults including teachers, parents etc is being given priority.
Even as there is the threat of a possible third wave, experts suggest that the risk of infection among kids is low. Even though priority is being given to senior classes and schools are reopening for classes 9 to 12, experts believe younger kids can be called to schools as well. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Dr Balram Bhargava had suggested, “children can handle viral infection better, they have fewer receptors. So once the decision is taken and all the staff vaccinated it would be good to open primary schools first."