Workers wearing protective gear disinfect a classroom of Central Model School before its reopening (File image)
Even as the second COVID-19 wave has begun to recede, a survey found that 48 percent of parents want schools to reopen only after their children are vaccinated.
The respondents of the survey, conducted by online platform Local Circles in late July, were over 32,000 parents -- 47 percent of them based in tier 1 districts, 27 percent in tier 2 and 26 percent respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
The findings come at a time when a number of states including Punjab, Haryana, Odisha and Rajasthan have partially resumed the schools. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have also permitted schools to operate from August 16 under strict COVID-19 norms.
The survey found that around 30 percent of parents were ready to send their children to school if the coronavirus cases in their district come down to zero.
Another 21 percent of the respondents said they would send their children to schools regardless of the availability of vaccine or the cases coming down to zero in their respective districts. Only one percent of the respondents were unopinionated on the issue, the surveyors said.
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Notably, a survey conducted by Local Circle in June 2021 had found that 37 percent of the parents were unwilling to send their children back to schools unless they were vaccinated. The number increased to 48 percent in the latest survey likely due to the announcements related to the upcoming vaccines for children.
On July 27, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya reportedly told a BJP parliamentary committee that vaccine for children in the country could be launched in August.
The ZYCOV-D vaccine, developed by Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila, could be the first anti-COVID jab to be approved for all above the age of 12, experts suggest.
Meanwhile, the countrywide COVID-19 tally has climbed to 3.18 crore, whereas, the death toll has crossed 4.26 lakh. Over the past 75 days, the infection rate has decelerated in most parts of India. The active caseload stood at 4,10,353, as per the last update issued by the health ministry.