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Want to complete first-dose Covid vaccination by month-end, no call yet on closing schools: Minister

The minister said that she has reiterated the need to strictly follow the SOPs (standard operating procedures) for safe functioning of schools as she made it clear that no decision has been taken by the state government yet on shutting schools.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
January 4, 2022 1:35:54 am
Varsha GaikwadVarsha Gaikwad, Maharashtra Education Minister. (File photo)

Most districts in the state have set a target to finish administering the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to all the eligible beneficiaries by January-end, state education minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Monday.

She chaired a meeting of top officials from all districts as well as various offices of the state education department to review arrangements for administering Covid vaccine to students in the 15 to 18 age group.

Gaikwad, however, did not announce closure of schools in light of rising number of infections, leaving the same to the discretion of local administration. Schools across the state are presently closed for winter break.

The minister said that she has reiterated the need to strictly follow the SOPs (standard operating procedures) for safe functioning of schools as she made it clear that no decision has been taken by the state government yet on shutting schools.

“Local bodies are empowered to review opening of schools based on regular risk-level assessment,” she said.

On vaccination for children, she said all schools in the state are geared up to bolster the drive for Class 9 to 12

students, adding that local bodies are working in close coordination to ensure that the entire eligible younger population gets vaccinated at the earliest.

With as many as 65 lakh students in the state falling in the age group of 15 to 18 years, she said additional efforts would be made for certain districts. Mumbai and Pune have an average of six lakh students each in the age bracket.

“The possibility of increasing the number of vaccinators for Osmanabad, Chandrapur, Solapur and Wardha,where Japanese Encephalitis vaccination campaign is also ongoing, will be studied in coordination with the health department,” she said.

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