Punjab government employees failing to take even the first dose of coronavirus vaccine for any reason other than medical will be compulsorily sent on leave after September 15.
This was announced by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to protect the people of the state from the disease, and to ensure that those who are vaccinated against Covid do not have to pay the price for continued vaccine hesitancy of those who are not.
At the high-level virtual Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister said vaccine effectiveness was evident from the data being analysed. Special efforts were taken to reach out to Punjab government employees, and those who continued to avoid getting vaccinated would now be asked to go on compulsory leave till they get the first dose.
Captain Amarinder Singh also allowed teaching and non-teaching school staff, who have taken at least one dose of vaccine more than four weeks ago to resume duties, subject to the submission of weekly RT-PCR negative test reports. However, all those with co-morbidities should only be allowed once they were fully vaccinated, he added.
School Education Secretary Krishan Kumar earlier pointed out that currently, only fully vaccinated staff members are allowed to come to schools. Punjab Health Minister Balbir Sidhu suggested a gap for the second dose to be reduced for school staff to 28 days, but Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan informed the meeting that the Centre had rejected the state’s request to allow them to be treated as essential services.
Health Minister Balbir Sidhu urged the Chief Minister to ensure the availability of sufficient vaccines to ensure the vaccination of all eligible people before the festivals.