Vaccination drive begins in Kerala schools, 8.14 lakh teenagers to get COVID-19 jab

Students after getting Covid-19 jab at Our Lady's Convent Girls High School, Thoppumpady, Kochi. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The vaccination against COVID-19 will be administered to eligible teenagers in schools from Wednesday.

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty had informed on Monday that 8.14 lakh teenagers in the age group of 15-17 years were eligible for receiving vaccine against COVID-19 in the state.

Parent Teachers' Association meets were organised in schools on Tuesday to facilitate the vaccine drive. "Vaccines will be administered to students with the consent of parents," the minister said.

In all 967 schools with more than 500 students will be converted into vaccination centres from January 19 for administering the jabs to those in the age group of 15 to 18 years.

Sivankutty, after a meeting with the higher officials of the General Education Department, said all necessary arrangements have been put in place for the vaccination drive in the schools.

The inoculation of children between the ages of 15 and 17 years began on January 3. Students born before or in 2007 will be given Covaxin doses.

The district-level task forces have been entrusted to find the schools suited for the purpose.

School authorities have been told to earmark waiting areas, vaccination rooms and observation rooms at their institutions.

"One room will be for registration and another for vaccination. One room will be set apart for health workers while there will be a room for students to take rest immediately after vaccination. An ambulance would be arranged in case there is a need for any," Sivankuty told the media.

Authorities of schools with less than 500 students should urge children to go to the nearest health centre for vaccination.

The consent letter from the parents is compulsory for vaccination. The minister has directed the school authorities, staff, PTA officials and the students to strictly adhere to the action plan formulated by the department.

The records of the vaccination sessions readied at the schools will be linked to the nearest government vaccination centre. 

A school-level vaccination team will comprise a medical officer from the health department, vaccinator, staff nurse and support staff assigned by the institution.

In view of the rising COVID-19 cases, Classes 1 to 9 will switch to online mode from January 21 in the state.

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