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More vaccines being rushed to states for school teachers to pave way for starting classes

More vaccines being rushed to states for school teachers to pave way for starting classes

The Centre is stepping up supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses to states so that all school teachers can get inoculated by early next month to pave the way for children to gradually start physically attending classes.

"We have requested all states to try to vaccinate all school teachers on priority before Teachers' Day, which is celebrated on Sept. 5," Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday.

He said states would be given more than 20 million additional doses to achieve the target.

Several states have attempted to reopen schools since the pandemic began last year, but some had to shut them down again due to the outbreak of coronavirus infections.

The government is keen to bring back children to school as they have been confined at home since the outbreak of the pandemic last year and a  majority of them do not have access to online education.

The government had last week approved the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine for older children so that they can come back to school.

The Gujarat government said it would resume physical classes for middle school students from Sept. 2, at half the capacity, for the first time in more than 18 months. Schools reopened for older children nearly a month ago.

India has until now administered 59.6 crore vaccine doses to its people, with close to half its 944 million adults having shot at least one shot and 14% having got the required two doses.

Meanwhile, the country reported 37,593 fresh cases of coronavirus with 648 deaths. The total death toll due to Covid-19 since the first outbreak of the disease last year has now touched 435,758, or 1.34 per cent of total confirmed infections.