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Zero vaccination at camps: Two Chandigarh schools get show-cause notices

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 3 days ago Rajanbir Singh, Chandigarh
Even though vaccination teams remained present at both Chandigarh schools through Thursday, no student turned up for the jab. (HT file) © Provided by Hindustan Times Even though vaccination teams remained present at both Chandigarh schools through Thursday, no student turned up for the jab. (HT file)

The UT health department has issued show-cause notices to Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 23, and Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, after no student was inoculated at the vaccination camps organised on their premises on Thursday.

The camps were organised in line with an order by UT health secretary Yashpal Garg, wherein all principals were told to intimate students about the vaccination camps. They were warned of action under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, in case any violation of order.

However, though vaccination teams remained present at both schools through Thursday, no student turned up for the jab.

“This not only resulted in wastage of precious human resources, but also prevented the health officials from discharging their duty during the ongoing crisis,” Garg said in the notices sent to the schools.

The schools have been asked to explain whether all students enrolled in the school and eligible for the vaccine were informed about the camp set up on the school premises.

They have also been asked to explain why the authorities were not informed that none of the students had consented to get vaccinated on Thursday.

The schools need to send an explanation to the school education director within three days and no more vaccination camps will be organised there, the notice stated.

Schools refute allegations

Both schools claimed there was no violation of the health secretary’s order.

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School has already sent its reply with a list of all modes of communication used to inform the students. The school shared that even the neighbouring schools in Sector 26 were asked to bring their students for vaccination and staff was also sent to Bapu Dham Colony to invite children.

Principal Sister Arti said, “The school falls in an institutional area, so many of our students have already gotten vaccinated at centres closer to their homes. A Google form was sent out on Wednesday regarding the vaccination camp on Thursday and many parents responded that their wards will be getting vaccinated on Thursday.”

She added that out of 650 eligible students in the school, around 60% had already received the first dose of vaccine.

School authorities added that on Thursday, some students showed up, but were not vaccinated as a vial was to be opened for a minimum of 10 people.

At GMSSS, Sector 23, principal Seema Grover said, “Students did not arrive early in the morning due to Lohri and chilly weather. Around 20 students turned up later, but the vaccination team had already left by 11.30 am.”

She added that the school had sent numerous text messages, voice notes and utilised other means to inform students about the camp. “These will be shared with the authorities now. Around 67% of our eligible students are already vaccinated, as we took them to the camp at GMSSS, Sector 16, while some others went to GMSSS, Sector 19, as it’s closer to their houses,” Grover said.

According to the eligible population projected by the central government, about 72,000 children, aged 15 to 18, are eligible for vaccination in Chandigarh.

Since January 3, the UT health department has vaccinated 41,032 (57%) children with the first dose. So far, no side effects have been reported post immunisation.

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