BENGALURU: Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanveer Sait on Tuesday said there was no question of forcing re-vaccination on children without the consent of parents.
Addressing a joint press conference with Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ramesh Kumar, Sait said he would like all parents to get their children vaccinated again with the single shot of Measles-Rubella(MR) vaccine, but they cannot be forced.
“We will hold at least two rounds of discussions with schools and parents. We will try to convince parents in this regard,” he said.
Several parents of children who have already got the double shot of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine have refused to give their consent, raising concerns over repeated vaccinations and over giving injections in their absence.
Sait said that children aged from 0 to 6 years have to be accompanied by parents during vaccination.
Officials are having a tough time convincing parents, especially of children aged between two and six years. The three week-drive, beginning February 7, is aimed at re-vaccinating children by setting up camps at schools. Children aged between nine months and fifteen years are to be vaccinated regardless of whether they have been vaccinated earlier or not.
Some schools have meanwhile made it clear that parents’ consent was a must for vaccination.
Minister Ramesh Kumar urged parents to support the vaccination drive which is in line with global goals of eradicating measles by 2020. According to the Education Department, the vaccination drive is expected to cover 1.65 crore children in the state.
Sait said the department was mulling linking vaccination cards to the student tracking system, which stores individual details like Aadhaar number as well.
Officials intend to have a camp in each school and Anganwadi, but there is no clarity on the composition of medical staff. The minister said there will be medical help like ambulance and linking to the local hospitals in case of any child suffering from the adverse effects of the vaccine.
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