Centre to provide 2 cr additional jabs for teachers

Centre to provide two crore additional Covid-19 vaccine doses for teachers

Bhushan stressed on having a definite district-level plan to increase the coverage of the second dose

Mansukh Mandaviya. Credit: PTI File Photo

With several states either planning to restart the schools or have done so already, the Centre on Wednesday said two crore additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines would be provided to the states to vaccinate the teachers on a priority basis.

"This month more than two crore doses would be made available to the states. We have requested the states to try to vaccinate all school teachers on priority before the Teachers' Day, which is celebrated on September 5,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet.

The two crore additional doses would be dispatched to the states between August 27-31 to vaccinate school teachers and non-teaching staff on a priority basis, said an official. India has nearly 97 lakh teachers.

The states had been advised to use the Unified District Information System of Education data and coordinate with state education departments, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Navodaya Vidyalaya Sangathan to provide the necessary fillip to such a targeted vaccination programme, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

Also read: Covid-19 vaccine protection wanes within six months, say UK researchers

The announcement comes at a time when states have begun to recommence offline schooling after a hiatus of one and half years as the second surge of the epidemic is ebbing.

However, experts cautioned that a necessary precondition for school reopening would be “ring vaccination” to ensure that every adult staff in a school was fully vaccinated. Education departments in the states are in the process of collecting vaccination data on teachers and staff in schools.

At a review meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also alerted the states on the upcoming festival season taking the example of Kerala where the Covid-19 cases and test positivity rate shot up following the Onam celebrations last week.

Referring to Kerala where a visible rise of cases has been registered over the past week post-Onam, Bhushan advised the states to undertake all possible public health measures to curb such a rise.

India on Wednesday also reached the milestone of 60 core Covid-19 vaccination with the Union Health Minister observing that the journey from 50 crore to 60 crore was completed in 19 days, which was the fastest since the beginning of the Covid-19 vaccination in India.

In comparison, the first 10 crore vaccination mark was achieved in 85 days and it took another 45 days to reach 20 crore. Subsequently, the pace of vaccination accelerated with the 30 crore milestone being reached in 29 days; 40 crore in 24 days and 50 crore in 20 days.

With the vaccination rate picking up, India is set to complete the inoculation of 50% of the target population of 94.47 crore in another two days. Nearly 73 lakh shots have been administered on Wednesday.

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