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From collecting vaccination certificates from students to planning vaccination camps, schools are eager to join the drive to secure their campuses and prepare for physical classes in due course

ver 4 million teenagers, in the 15-18 age group, got their first dose of the Covid vaccine on January 3, the first day of the vaccination program announced by the government for this segment of the population. This comes amid a renewed surge in Covid cases in the country and the onset of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The drive, school administrators say, will boost the morale of students and their parents.

According to Shikha Banerjee, principal, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur, “The government’s decision to start Covid-19 immunization for 15-18-year-olds is reportedly based on scientific assessment of local as well as global data, which shows that 75 percent of Covid-19 deaths among children have happened in this age group. Moreover, individuals of this age group actively socialize and are prone to get infected.”

Schools have welcomed the vaccination drive, saying it will secure campuses in the midst of the pandemic and safeguard students against Covid-19, eventually helping restart physical classes. “People above 18 years have largely been vaccinated. It is children who are still at risk and require vaccination to build immunity,” says Alka Kapur, principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi.

Modern Public School has about 700 students in the age group of 15 to 18 and the Seth Anandram Jaipuria School has around 400 students. In order to keep a track of students’ vaccination status, Modern Public School has urged parents to submit their children’s vaccination certificates as soon as the immunization is complete. The school has already contacted a leading private hospital in Delhi as well as the state government for setting up a vaccination camp at its premises. “Once vaccines [for this age group] are widely available in the city, we intend to make them mandatory for our students. We’ve already begun contacting parents to encourage them to vaccinate their children. In the coming months, we would like to make vaccination mandatory for children attending physical classes,” says Kapur.

While the parents of students of Modern Public School have begun getting their children vaccinated, many in general are wary. Asked about vaccine hesitancy, Banerjee of Seth Anandram Jaipuria School says: “We do expect cases of resistance from parents owing to certain apprehensions about vaccines. So, there’s a greater need for motivational sessions for parents and students, and I am hopeful of seeing all my students being vaccinated soon.” She adds: “No matter how much reluctance and resistance faced from parents, the school will ensure total compliance with government policies. Without exception, it will be mandatory for all our students to get vaccinated within a stipulated deadline.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written By
Ms. Shikha Bannerji
Principal
Seth Anandram Jaipuria School – Kanpur