NEW DELHI: Eighty-five per cent of Delhi government school students have been vaccinated for coronavirus, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday while noting that inoculation in private schools is being done at a snail's pace.
Now that the COVID-19 cases are declining considerably and most of the students in higher classes have been inoculated, a proposal may be placed before the DDMA for reopening of schools, he said.
Only 42 per cent of eligible students have been vaccinated in private schools till January 21, he added.
"While government schools are moving towards fulfilling their target of vaccination, inoculation is being done at a snail's pace in private schools. Except East Delhi district, private schools have failed to achieve even 50 per cent vaccination coverage," he said.
Private schools have about 3.5 lakh students eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, but not even 2 lakh have been vaccinated till date, the minister, who also holds the education portfolio, said.
"Even aided schools haven't fared well. So far, only 57 per cent of students have been vaccinated in aided schools," he added.
About 85 per cent students of Delhi government schools in the age-group of 15-18 years have been vaccinated till January 21, according to a government statement.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) has set a target of 100 per cent vaccination till January 30, which appears within reach, it said.
Sisodia on Saturday said that vaccination is the most effective way to be safe from COVID-19 and hence, it is extremely important that all eligible students get vaccinated at the earliest.
"In 12 out of the 15 education districts, 85 per cent students of Delhi government schools have been vaccinated and there are about 300 schools where 90 per cent eligible students have got the jab," he added.
Noting that the vaccination speed in government schools is "commendable", he said the teachers have been at the forefront in these unprecedented times of the pandemic.
"They are taking care of not just education but also vaccination of students. Hundred per cent vaccination of students will help us in shifting from online education to offline mode. Now that the coronavirus cases are declining considerably, and most of the students in higher classes have been inoculated, a proposal may be placed before the DDMA for reopening of schools," he said.
The vaccination of students between the age group of 15-18 years began from January 3.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government had started making preparations for it on a war footing, said the statement.
A nodal in-charge was deployed at each school, it said, adding that all class teachers were asked to ensure that information about vaccination sites reached all parents and students.
The government had designated over 150 sites for vaccination of school students.
The 20 school health clinics started at government schools were also turned into vaccination centres.
Over two lakh people have been administered the precautionary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Delhi since the exercise commenced on January 10, according to official data.
The third or the precautionary dose is being administered to people aged 60 or more, healthcare workers and frontline workers who took their second dose of the vaccine nine months ago.
They are being given the same vaccine they received earlier.
Around three lakh such people became eligible for the third dose from January 10.
According to government data, 2,00,149 people had received the dose till Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on December 24 last year announced precautionary shots for vulnerable populations and those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
On January 3, the Centre rolled out vaccination for adolescents aged 15-17.