- States will be given more than 20 million additional doses for the purpose
- India last week approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for older children
- The country has been vaccinating its adults since the middle of January
New Delhi: India will supply millions of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to its states to try to inoculate all school teachers by early next month, the health minister said on Wednesday (August 25), as the country gradually resumes physical classes. The pandemic has hit the country of 1.35 billion people particularly hard and hundreds of millions of its students have been stuck at home for months, with little or no access to online education for a majority of the poor.
India last week approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for older children and is trying to urgently immunise all of its nearly 10 million school teachers. The country has been vaccinating its adults since the middle of January.
We have requested all states to try to vaccinate all school teachers on priority before Teachers’ Day, which is celebrated on Sept. 5, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Twitter.
He said states would be given more than 20 million additional doses for the purpose.
Several states have attempted to reopen schools since the pandemic began last year, but some had to shut them down when infections were detected on campuses.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat said it would resume physical classes for middle school students from Sept. 2, at half the capacity, for the first time in more than 18 months. Schools reopened for older children nearly a month ago.
A parliamentary report said this month the pandemic disrupted the education of nearly 320 million Indian students in various schools, colleges and universities.
It recommended “accentuated vaccine programmes for all students, teachers and allied staff so that schools may start functioning normally at the earliest”.
India has administered 596 million vaccine doses, giving at least one dose to nearly half of its 944 million adults and the required two doses to 14%. It has reported 32.5 million infections, the most in the world after the United States, and 435,758 deaths.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.