Governor: Students must be vaccinated to attend in-person classes
By The Star Staff
Public school students who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be able to attend face-to-face classes, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia reiterated on Monday.
Students must show proof that they have at least the first dose of the vaccine, the second if required and in some cases the booster dose.
Nonetheless, the governor said, the requirements will not be so strict for students between the ages of 5 and 11.
“The vast majority are vaccinated,” Pierluisi said. “Those who are not vaccinated, basically what we are going to do is, we are going to work differently by ages. Among those between 5 and 11 years old, if the vaccination process has already started, they will be allowed to receive face-to-face education, but the school nurse and the school director will verify the date that they are eligible to receive the second vaccination dose, and they will follow up to make it so.”
“If the students do not receive the second dose within the indicated term, then they can not attend face-to-face education,” the governor said in response to questions from the press.
In the case of students older than 12 years of age, the government will focus on getting them booster doses.
“And the guideline is, all those who have their two doses will be able to receive face-to-face education, but they will have to report when they are going to be get the booster dose so officials can follow up, and if they do not receive the booster by the date on which which they said they were going to get it, then yes, they will not be allowed to receive face-to-face education,” the governor added.
Pierluisi said he wants to proceed in the aforementioned way so as not to destabilize the educational system.
“If you have already taken an affirmative step, then I want to give you the opportunity,” he said. “But based on the percentage, the percentage [of vaccination] is high. Already we have 50 percent of the children with the two doses of the vaccine and with one dose we are talking about 75 or 76 percent of the children. The challenge is trying to reach 90 percent of children with both doses. And that’s the goal.”
The governor made his statement after an act to commemorate the birth of Luis A. Ferré at Las Mercedes de Ponce Cemetery, where the former governor is interred.