Covid Vaccine Not Prerequisite: Expert On School Reopening
"We have more than 15 months of evidence that schools do not contribute to the transmission of the virus more than what children are exposed to at home,” Dr Lahariya told NDTV.
Evidence of more than 15 months suggest schools do not contribute to the transmission of Covid more than what children are exposed to at their homes – from parents and other family members – and vaccinating kids against COVID-19 is not a prerequisite for opening educational institutions, epidemiologist Dr Chandrakant Lahariya told NDTV on school reopening.
“Schools are open across the world. Even at the peak of the pandemic, in many countries, schools were open...We have more than 15 months of evidence that schools do not contribute to the transmission of the virus more than what children are exposed to at home,” Dr Lahariya told NDTV.
“Global experts are saying that children, especially the children between the age of 2-11 years, would not need vaccines...Vaccination is not a prerequisite to open schools. Children are already exposed. We don't know whether they would need vaccines for opening schools. All of these things are supporting that schools should be opened,” Dr Lahariya added.
According to the epidemiologist, children are already in contact with their peers but are unfortunately missing out on attending schools.
“In rural areas, children are already intermingling with each other but they are not coming to schools. That's really unfortunate...Even in urban settings, children are mixing with each other but they are not coming to schools,” he said.
Dr Lahariya further said parents should not be worried about opening schools as they will have the option to decide whether they want their children to continue with online classes or they want to send them to schools, to attend in person, physical classes.
Rajasthan was one of the states where schools were to reopen on August 2 but they have now decided to revisit the decision after criticism from parents and others.
Rajasthan’s Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra said a panel of five ministers will consult other states, the centre and the CBSE board before arriving at a final decision.
With Covid cases declining, many states have decided to call students back to school for physical classes, especially those who are in Classes 9 to 12.
Gujarat schools have resumed offline teaching-learning today, July 26, in accordance with COVID-19 protocols