Parents given until Sept 24 on vaccines for schoolchildren

Parents given until Sept 24 on vaccines for schoolchildren

FILE PHOTO: A teacher at Surao Mai School in Suan Luang district of Bangkok teaches students online in an empty classroom on June 23, 2021. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
FILE PHOTO: A teacher at Surao Mai School in Suan Luang district of Bangkok teaches students online in an empty classroom on June 23, 2021. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Parents have until Sept 24 to decide whether to inoculate their children with the Pfizer vaccine before the Education Ministry reopens real classrooms for students.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Wednesday disclosed the timeline for student vaccinations, with Sept 24 the final day for parents to give their consent.

The government will provide the Pfizer vaccine for students from 12 to 17 years old on a voluntary basis.

Schools will hold meetings with parents from Friday to Wednesday about the policy, and they are required to make a decision by Sept 24, according to the schedule posted by the CCSA.

All schools will send their lists of students to be vaccinated to the education office in their provinces on Sept 25, with the jab campaign set to start on Oct 4. It covers 4.5 million students.

The Education Ministry also plans to give all teachers the vaccine before students return to classes. About 30% of teachers have not been jabbed, according to the ministry.

The vaccination campaign has thus far prioritised senior citizens, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.

The country has injected 27 million people, or 38% of the total populaton, with initial doses.

The goverment is now expanding the target group to students.

The ministry has tentatively set Nov 1 for the reopening of all schools after ordering students to study online since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Parental fears

Not all parents wanted to have their children vaccinated.

Nilawan Noi-i, an aunt of 14-year-old Chanathip Pimphoklang, said she was fretting about possible side effects from the vaccine as the government has not guaranteed its safety.

Chanathip, who studied at Thessaban 2 School in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima, said he would not take the vaccine shot and preferred studying at home to avoid infection.

Banyat Wutthiwai said that he would wait until the last minute before making the decision on vaccination for his 15-year-old son.

He said he was against schools reopening in the province as a virus surge continued.์ Nakhon Ratchasima registered 260 new transmissions on Wednesday — the highest in a week — and the province decided to reopen a field hospital at Chatchai Hall on Wednesday after shutting its doors on Saturday.

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