School children look from the window of their classroom at a government school in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. (Photo by BIJU BORO/AFP via Getty Images)
THE Indian government will provide millions of additional vaccine doses for Covid-19 to its states with an aim to inoculate all school teachers by early September, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday (25).
The announcement came at a time when the country is in the middle of gradual reopening of physical classes, something that has largely remained shut since March 2020 when the pandemic started making a serious impact in the country.
The student fraternity of the world’s second-most populous nation has been particularly hit by the pandemic as physical schooling has been suspended. Several states have tried to reopen schools in between but resurgence of infections on campuses forced them to shut them again. Students of all ages have remained stuck at home, attending classes online. However, for the poorer sections, even that has become a challenge in the absence of infrastructure.
Last week, India approved its first Covid-19 vaccine for older children and is now aiming to immunise its school teachers numbering around 10 million. The country has been vaccinating all its adults since January and more than 610 million Covid vaccine doses have been administered so far. More than 472 million have received at least one dose.
“We have requested all states to try to vaccinate all school teachers on priority before Teachers’ Day, which is celebrated on September 5,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Twitter in Hindi.
इस महीने हर राज्य को वैक्सीन उपलब्ध करवाने की योजना के अतिरिक्त 2 करोड़ से ज़्यादा वैक्सीन की डोज़ उपलब्ध कराई जा रही हैं।
हमने सभी राज्यों से अनुरोध किया है कि 5 सितंबर को मनाये जाने वाले शिक्षक दिवस से पहले सभी स्कूली शिक्षकों को प्राथमिकता देकर वैक्सीन लगाने का प्रयास करें।