The Kerala state government is planning to give compulsory leave to teachers and staff who have not been vaccinated. The implementation of this decision will be discussed at a review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on Tuesday. There are also plans to offer discounts on hotel stays in hotels and theatres.
The State Education Minister, Shri V Sivankutty had yesterday said there are nearly 5,000 teachers who are still reluctant to take the vaccination against the pandemic. The minister said those who have not been vaccinated should not be encouraged to come to school.
It is reported that many of these nonvaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff are showing reluctance to take the vaccination due to certain religious beliefs. The state had earlier also faced problems of some religious sects during the immunization drives. Propaganda is spread that vaccination is a conspiracy and it spreads different diseases or it is an activity of devil. They say it is a poison meant to harm the community. Recently there was a case when a girl was allegedly given only water made holy by prayers by the religious person of a local worship place when she was taken to him by her family that believed in superstitions, despite family members urging for hospitalisation.
According to the Disaster Management Authority and the Department of Health, teachers and staff who do not take the vaccine send the wrong message to society. They also suggest that vaccination should be completed as soon as possible in the event that a new strain of the coronavirus is reported by Omicron.
The government will provide all facilities for teachers and school staff to be vaccinated. Those who are unable to get the vaccine due to health problems must prove it on the basis of documents.