Two-day vaccination drive for schools, colleges in Himachal
All students above the age of 18 and their family members besides teachers and non-teaching staff are eligible to take part as colleges reopen from July 1
A two-day inoculation drive against Covid-19, being organised by the Himachal Pradesh education department, started on Monday.
The department aims to vaccinate 1.25 lakh students, teachers and non-teaching staff, including mid-day meal workers, in colleges and schools before the institutions reopen on July 1.
State higher education director Amarjeet K Sharma said that more than 200 vaccination centres have been set up in schools and colleges across the state.
“All students above the age of 18 years are eligible to get vaccinated at these centres. Their family members can also take the vaccine in this special campaign,” Sharma said.
Colleges reopen this week
The Himachal Pradesh cabinet has decided to reopen colleges in the state from July 1. Teachers of the winter-closing schools have also been told to report for duty, while there are one-month vacations in the summer-closing schools.
The cabinet directed education and health departments to formulate a plan so that maximum number of teaching and non-teaching staff is vaccinated by June-end.
Can take exams irrespective of vaccination status
Sharma dispelled rumours that the education department has set a condition that college students will be allowed to take the exam only after getting vaccinated.
“There is no such condition, all students will be allowed to appear in the exams whether they have been inoculated or not,” he clarified.
He said the department would try to inoculate all students before the exams.
Alert on Delta Plus variant
Even as the second wave of Covid-19 wanes, the state health authorities have raised an alert over the Delta Plus variant after cases were reported in neighbouring states.
The Delta Plus variant is a mutated version of the more aggressive B.1.617.2 or Delta strain of Covid-19 that drove the second wave of infections in India.
The health authorities have already sent 17 fresh samples to the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) for genomic sequencing to detect the more infectious variant, while more than 180 samples sent earlier are pending. The report of the samples is likely to come this week, said state health secretary Amitabh Awasthi.
He said samples of patients who are turning out positive for the second time and getting infected even after taking both the jabs were being sent to the NCDC. He said samples were being sent for testing every alternate week.