The Education Ministry has laid out a timeline for vaccinating students amid reluctance by some parents and students to join the nationwide inoculation campaign.
Senior ministry officials attended an online teleconference on Wednesday where they went over the timeline of vaccinations for students aged 12-18 in both state and private schools and institutions nationwide next month.
The Pfizer jabs will be launched in 29 provinces in the dark-red zone, which are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education permanent secretary Supat Jampathong chaired Wednesday’s teleconference which was also joined by school districts staff, schools and educational outlets.
Mr Jampathong said eight million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, approved for inoculation in young people, are due to arrive next month.
The schools will be designated as the main vaccination points. But if they face space constraints, the vaccine shots will be delivered at universities.
The communicable disease control offices will manage vaccine procurement for the provinces. In the capital, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will be in charge of the task.
The Department of Disease Control will deliver the vaccine to the provinces. Local public health offices will supply syringes and other medical equipment.
In the meantime, the Education Ministry will compile the number of students whose parents consented to vaccinations and forward the information to provincial public health offices.
The ministry will also gather consent forms and advise students on the vaccination procedure, according to Mr Jampathong.
On 25th September, schools will forward the names of students to be vaccinated to their school districts.
The next day, provincial offices will meet to review the number of students earmarked for the jabs before submitting the information to provincial public health offices.
From 28th-30th September, the offices will work out inoculation guidelines for the schools and vocational institutes. On 1st October, the schools will prepare their premises as vaccination points before the campaign gets underway on 4th October.
Between 17th-22nd September, the schools will organise meetings with parents to educate them about safe vaccinations for students.
Mr Jampathong said students who receive their first jab during the first week of October will get their second dose towards the end of the month. They can then be fully vaccinated before they begin the new term in November.
The vaccine holds the key to the return of 4.5 million students to class for on-site learning.
The ministry is also planning to immunise some 170,000 teachers and school staff who are unvaccinated.
Amporn Pinasa, secretary-general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission, said school directors and chiefs of school districts were instructed to monitor students after jabs.
He insisted, however, there was no move to prevent schools from offering on-site learning again even if not all their students and teachers received vaccine shots.