Call to prioritise vaccination for teachers

Jagdeep (right) interacting with students in one of the classes. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

TEACHERS should be given priority to receive the Covid-19 vaccination following the reopening of schools, said Jagdeep Singh.

The Penang local government committee chairman said there were about 500,000 teachers nationwide but so far, only 55,539 of them were eligible under the first phase of vaccinations as frontliners.

“With schools reopened fully now, teachers are considered in the high-risk category as they are no longer working from home.

“I hope the Education and Health Ministries would give them priority as frontliners.

“Vaccinating them would make it better and safer for the schools as well, ” he said after a spot check

on standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance at Han Chiang High School in Jalan Lim Lean Teng on Tuesday.

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is being implemented in three phases, with Phase 1 from Feb to April for the frontliners involving 500,000 people.

Phase 2, from April to August, involves 9.4 million people comprising senior citizens aged 60 and above, those with morbidity and the disabled.

It will begin on April 19, with those getting jabs expected to receive notifications for their appointment 14 days prior to the set date.

Han Chiang students walking in an orderly manner while  observing the SOP. Han Chiang students walking in an orderly manner while observing the SOP.

Phase 3 will cover Malaysians and non-citizens, aged 18 and above, targeting more than 13.7 million people.

Jagdeep said it was vital not to take Covid-19 virus lightly following the reopening of schools.

“We need to ensure that the public health and safety are taken seriously.

“Schools need to follow the right steps and ensure their students are complying with the SOP.

“There is only a handful of SOP that needs to be adhered to, like wearing face masks, and practising social distancing and basic hygiene.

“It is important for students to return to schools as their lives cannot be left at a standstill, ” he said.

Jagdeep said moving forward, the main goal would be to have everyone vaccinated.

“So far, a total of 801,773 people in Malaysia have been vaccinated by receiving both doses.

“Of the number, a total of 44,119 of them are Penangites.

“The total number of people who have registered for the vaccination programme is 7.96 million, with 554,150 of them being Penangites, ” he said.

Han Chiang High School principal Kung Bee Lee said the school has 1,909 students and 120 teachers.

“We are ensuring that the students from Form One to Form Six comply to the SOP.

“There are printed notices and banners around the school, informing the students about the do’s and don’ts, ” she said.

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