New Delhi, June 23 | A total of 76 per cent parents are not ready to send their children to school till cases in their district go down to zero or children get vaccinated.
According to a survey by Local Circles, the percentage of parents who will send their children to school has reduced from 69 per cent to 20 per cent in 4 months.
65 per cent parents approve of their children receiving the Covid vaccine if it is made available by September 2021.
As per Local Circles, the government in its daily briefing announced this week that opening schools will be difficult till a major chunk of the population is vaccinated.
With the second wave of Covid-19 seeing even children and infants getting infected with the coronavirus, in such a scenario, the resumption of school according to medical experts may lead to an increase in the number of cases, particularly at the time the imminent threat of the third wave is expected to hit India in less than 2 months.
There is evidence to show that more children were affected in the second wave than the first. 8,000 kids tested positive in May alone in a district in Maharashtra.
Recently, Meghalaya reported 5,000 Covid cases in the age group 0-14. In the first wave, 4 per cent of the infected population were children. This share has increased to about 10 per cent – 20 per cent in the second wave. So far, the mortality rate in children is low.
The concern for the children of the country remains high as the vaccination for them is still in its trial stages. Serum Institute of India is planning to start the trials of Novavax on children in July.
Bharat Biotech has two vaccines that are being tried on children, Covaxin and BBV154, a one-shot nasal vaccine. ZyCov-D, the Zydus’ Covid-19 vaccine has also started trials on children in the age group 12-18 years. The Government of India is considering providing legal indemnity to Pfizer and Moderna to roll out their vaccines in India. Pfizer has announced that its vaccine is safe for children above 12 years of age.
Majority of Indian parents are not comfortable sending their children to physical school unless they are vaccinated or the number of cases drops to zero in their district, as found by the LocalCircles survey. To open schools while ensuring safety, children will have to be vaccinated along with staff members and parents.