Islamabad: While announcing the launch of special weekly anti-coronavirus vaccination campaigns in schools and seminaries, special assistant to the prime minister on national health services Dr Faisal Sultan on Friday announced that the students won’t be allowed to attend classes in person after October 31 if they’re not partially vaccinated OVID-19. Dr Faisal told a presser here that the schoolchildren and seminarians would have to get themselves fully vaccinated against coronavirus by November 30 for the in-person learning permission.
He advocated the children’s vaccination saying coronavirus is spreading fast among youth, especially during the current fourth wave. “You [people] must have seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases whenever schools resume in-person classes, so it is very important to give special attention to the vaccination of children enrolled in schools and seminaries. It has been witnessed worldwide as well that as long as all segments of society are not vaccinated, the spread of the disease can’t not checked completely,” he said.
The prime minister’s aide said the government had opened up anti-coronavirus vaccination for the 12-18 age bracket. Putting the nationwide number of children enrolled in informal and formal sectors of education at 50 million, he said the government had allowed the complete return to in-person learning from October 11 (Monday) due to a constant decline in coronavirus positivity rates and for the launch of special vaccination campaigns for students.
“After educational institutions reopen, we will launch special weekly vaccination campaigns in schools and seminaries,” he said. Dr Faisal said there were mobile units to vaccinate children in educational institutions. He also urged people to take their children to COVID-19 vaccination centres to receive jabs for protection against the virus.
The special assistant said some children might get a slight fever after being vaccinated, so parents shouldn’t worry as it was an effect of the vaccine. “Sometimes, children get sick or have a fever. Rarely, one or two children also faint, but all these things are expected. If we vaccinate all our children, not only will be they protected from the virus and block its spread but it will also ensure the uninterrupted continuation of educational process and the return of life to normal,” he said.
Dr Faisal said schoolchildren had massively suffered during the pandemic-induced campus closures, so they could no more afford the prolonged break from studies.
“People shouldn’t believe fake news and myths, and instead, they should understand that vaccination will help prevent the spread of coronavirus,” he said. The prime minister’s aide announced that Saturdays would be marked as special vaccination days in schools and seminaries, while the last week of October and November would be dedicated to COVID-19 vaccination.
Last month, the National Command and Operation Centre, the nerve centre of the country’s response to COVID-19 pandemic, had decided about the inoculation of children of 12 years of age and older. It revised its COVID-19 vaccination guidelines for citizens below the age of 18 years and said those people would receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The NCOC said the people below the age of 18 years would have to provide their B-Form numbers for registration with the National Immunisation Management System.