Govt plans to inoculate all students by Jan 31

The government has planned to inoculate all school and college students aged between 12 and 18 against coronavirus vaccine by January 31, aiming to ensure smooth running of academic activities amid the fresh surge of coronavirus.

To implement the plan, the education ministry has chalked out a programme to launch a special drive to inoculate all unvaccinated school students with at least the first dose of the vaccine by January 31.

Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said a joint initiative by the ministry and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will be implemented between January 15 and January 31 to ensure vaccine for the students.

She said students, aged between 12 and 18, will be eligible for the dose upon confirming their school identity but it will be much better if they can get the shots at their own schools.

According to the education ministry, it has targeted to inoculate all 11,623,322 secondary and higher secondary level students across the country.

The decision came during a National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) meeting on Sunday when Bangladesh recorded 1,491 new cases with a 6.78percentpositivity rate.

As many as 4.4 million students out of over 11.62 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Around 419,000 students have received both doses while some 7.55 million are yet to be inoculated.

Under the special vaccination drive, vaccination of the students of 397upazilas/thanas will be completed on January 15 while three upazilas/thanas on January 17, 56 upazilas/thanas on January 20, 15 upazilas/thanas on January 22, 35 upazilas/thanas on January 25 and 11 upazilas/thanas on January 31.

Data shows that on average 35 percent students received the first dose of vaccine  where highest 94 percent students received the first dose in Bagerhat district while lowest 4 percent each in Lalmonirhat and Narsingdi districts.

Among other districts, 57percent students received vaccine in Barguna district while65 percent in Barishal, 26 percent in Bhola, 76 percent in Jhalokathi, 46 percent in Patuakhali, 26 percent Pirojpur, 38 percent in Bandarban, 9 percent in Chattogram, 12 percent in Cox’s Bazar, 73 percent in Feni, 67 percent in Khagrachhari, 17 percent in Noakhali, 41 percent in Rangamati, 56 percent in Brahmanbaria, 58 percent in Chandpur, 58 percent in Cumilla, 86 percent in Lakshmipur, 73 percent in Dhaka, 39 percent in Faridpur, 16 percent in Gazipur, 71 percent in Gopalganj, 82 percent in Madaripur, 32 percent in Manikganj, 28 percent in Munshiganj, 51 percent in Narayanganj, 43 percent in Rajbari, 30 percent in Shariatpur, 8 percent in Chuadanga, 13 percent in Jashore, 30 percent in Jhenaidah, 22 percent in Khulna, 72 percent in Kushtia, 77 percent in Magura, 43 percent in Meherpur, 61 percent in Narail, 21 percent in Satkhira, 81 percent in Jamalpur, 15 percent in Kishoreganj, 12 percent in Mymensingh, 30 percent in Netrakona, 37 percent in Sherpur, 30 percent in Tangail, 25 percent in Bogura, 38 percent in Chapainawabganj, 60 percent in Joypurhat, 16 percent in Naogaon, 25 percent in Natore, 51 percent in Pabna, 17 percent in Rajshahi, 15 percent in Sirajganj, 10 percent in Dinajpur, 21 percent in Gaibandha, 14 percent in Kurigram, 13 percent in Nilphamari, 19 percent in Panchagarh, 22 percent in Rangpur, 5 percent in Thakurgaon, 35 percent in Habiganj, 49 percent in Moulvibazar,  60 percent in Sunamgang and 20 percent in Sylhet.

Data also shows the student vaccination rate above 90 percent in two districts, 80-90 percent in four districts, 70-80 percent in six districts, 60-70 percent in seven districts, 50-60 percent in four districts, 40-50 percent in four districts, 30-40 percent in 10 districts, 20-30 percent in 11 districts, 10-20 percent in 12 districts and below 10 percent in four districts.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,731,287 students of public universities, private universities, National Universities and Islamic Arabic University completed their registration for vaccination.

Of them, 2,328,468 students received the first dose of vaccine while 1,713,302 students got the second dose of the vaccine against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference, Education Minister Dipu Moni on Monday said that educational institutions will not be closed now but it will be considered if such a situation emerges.

She said the institutions will remain open on a limited capacity and will be closely monitored.

“When we reopened schools, the daily infection rate was at 7percent and the situation is similar now,” she said, adding that the situation is better now as a lot of students have already received at least the first dose of the vaccines.

The minister said the vaccination for students aged 12-18 will be speeded up and the government will ensure monitoring so that health guidelines are strictly followed.

Students aged 12-18, who are yet to receive the first dose, will attend classes online for the time being, she said.

Dipu Moni said the government hopes to schedule the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams in the middle of the year but it will depend on the Covid-19 scenario.

She said the ministry will make necessary announcement at least two months before the exams. She also urged everyone not to pay heed to any rumours.

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