To enable the educational institutions in the state to open safely, Punjab Government on Tuesday decided to start vaccination of teachers, non-teaching staff, and students in 18-45 age group from all schools and colleges from June 21.
Issuing the directions to the state health authorities during the COVID review meeting, the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed the Department to ensure that all persons with co-morbidities as well as disabilities, and government employees, are vaccinated on priority.
Staff in hospitality industry, parlours, service outlets including shops, restaurants, gyms etc should also be vaccinated at the earliest, he said.
Judicial officers and lawyers should also be prioritized so that normal court functioning can safely resume, directed Capt Amarinder, while asking the Health Department to reach out proactively to nursing mothers, who have been clarified to be eligible for vaccination. Expressing concern over the gender-gap in vaccination, he directed the health experts to identify the reasons and rectify the situation.
The Chief Minister also ordered ward-wise and village-wise campaigns in cities, towns or rural areas that saw higher positivity or mortality, in order to prioritize them for vaccination.
Pointing out that Punjab was perhaps the only State in the country to have put in place a vaccination strategy for the 18-45 age group that prioritizes the poor and the vulnerable, the Chief Minister expressed happiness that almost one lakh co-morbid youth, and 3.5 lakh young construction and other workers, had been vaccinated free of cost by the State Government.
Over 70,000 young family members of healthcare workers have been prioritized, while rehriwalas, bus drivers, shop workers and other deserving categories are also receiving vaccination from the state supplies, he noted.
The state Health Secretary Hussan Lal disclosed that the number of Covishield doses received by the State so far for the 18-45 age group stood at 5.86 lakhs, of which 5,30,610 had been used, and the State has a balance stock of 55,390. Covaxin doses received were 1,50,850, with 66,040 utilized.