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No reopening of schools without vaccines for below 18: CM Yediyurappa

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Bengaluru, Jun 22 (IANS): Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday said that no decision can be taken yet with regard to opening schools as those below 18 years cannot be vaccinated with clinical trials for this age group still on.

After receiving the 92-page interim report by the 13 members high-level committee, headed by noted cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty, set up to advise on measures to control a possible third wave, he told reporters that though the committee has recommended reopening of schools, the state has not decided yet on this issue.

“We are facing some genuine concerns about carrying out the vaccination drive. In the present scenario, clinical trials are still on to validate the vaccine for the below 18 year age group… how can any state government take any decision at this point of time about schools and colleges where those below 18 years are studying,” he said.

He, however, said that the state government was contemplating reopening higher educational institutions in the first phase of reopening of educational institutions in the state.

“Even to do this, we are thinking of first intensifying our vaccination drive for the 18 years and above age group besides vaccinating teachers and other staff members of colleges,” the Chief Minister said.

Yediyurappa also said that the Shetty-headed expert committee has advised accelerating vaccinations as vaccines are the solution for Covid control.

“The committee has supported the relaxations in Covid induced curbs announced by the state government, and have suggested opening up educational institutions in the days to come, starting with higher education colleges, after vaccinating,” he said.

After a meeting with the committee, Yediyurappa said with regard to opening schools and colleges, the committee has suggested giving priority to students and teachers in vaccination, to start classes in a phased manner by reopening colleges for students above 18 years to begin with, after vaccinating them.

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