Friday 6th August 2021 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith
The regional health secretary, Ana Barceló, and the regional education secretary, Vicent Marzà, have announced that the 12-18 age group in the Comunidad Valenciana – which number some 375,000 people – will start the next school year with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Barceló added that the regional vaccination campaign was entering “the final stretch” next week with school immunization deadlines being brought forward by two weeks, with the first group to be administered their first jab being the 16-18 age group, which corresponds to high school, vocational training, and 4th ESO students.
The following two weeks will see the 12-15 age group called for vaccination so that they receive their first jab before the start of the new school year on September 8th.
Vicent Marzà said that this vaccination drive will make classrooms safer and for education centres to be able to start the new school year in a better condition that last September, with all staff fully immunized and students above the age of 12 having had at least one dose.
The acceleration of the regional vaccination campaign has been made possible due to the Ministry of Health increasing the number of doses being delivered to the Comunidad Valenciana to compensate for displaced people as well as the deficit associated with the initial distribution of vaccines, which prioritized autonomous regions with older populations (the most vulnerable and, therefore, the preferred in the Spain’s national Vaccination Strategy).
Vaccination adjusted to the holidays and with authorization in case of minors
Ana Barceló explained that the regional health ministry has acknowledged that people who are summoned to receive their jab may not be able to attend due to holiday commitments and that there is an option to change their appointment according to their availability.
She said that an SMS will be sent with a link to the gva.es website where the recipient can indicate the weeks in which they will not be available, with the aim to make it as easy as possible to attend appointments to get vaccinated and thus speed up the vaccination process.
She added that the vaccination of these younger age groups will be taking place at the mass vaccination points deployed throughout the Valencian region and that, in accordance with current legal regulations, minors under the age of 16 must come either accompanied or with an authorizations to attend from their parents or guardian.
The new school year with start with 5,000 additional teachers
Vicent Marzà explained that the start of the 2021/2022 school year is already planned and the region will be able to count on 5,042 additional teachers and an investment of more than 39 million euros to guarantee all the protection and hygiene material as well as the disinfection of the education centres, which already have safety and hygiene protocols in place which will be very similar to those of last year.
He thanked what he called the “exemplary behaviour” of the Valencian educational community and assured that with all the planning and measures that will be place for the new school year, the region’s education centres will continue to be safe places for social interaction.