Authorities considering vaccinating at schools
Only half of 12-15 year olds have received full immunization, with two thirds of 16-19 year olds inoculated
The Catalan government aims to boost the number of teenagers vaccinated against Covid-19 in the coming weeks, since those between 12 and 19 are the age range with a lower amount of individuals fully vaccinated – and authorities are considering vaccinating at schools.
On Sunday, the education minister, Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, said that both his department and the health ministry may open vaccination sites "close to or inside" schools for those over 12 who have not booked an appointment yet.
This, according to him, could also work for a potential vaccination of those under 12 when authorities greenlight it.
"We do not rule out approaching schools where the percentage of students vaccinated is below average," he said in an interview with Rac1.
Gonzàlez-Cambray said that this could be enforced this September, with a similar pattern potentially in early 2022 for the under 12s.
"We will have all students in the same place," he emphasized.
As of September 11, 47.9% of those between 12 and 15 were considered to be fully inoculated, with 66.6% of those between 16 and 19.
'Less uncertain' start of school year
The 2021-2022 school year begins on Monday, with "far less uncertainty" that one year ago, said the minister.
Catalonia's 1,561,627 students will be heading back to school for the second pandemic-altered academic year, with 100% in-person learning.
Most of the Covid-19 restrictions in place last year – for example, compulsory face mask use for students 6 and over – will remain in place this year.
But with vaccination rates picking up speed among school-age children over the age of 12, one of the main differences is that fully vaccinated students will no longer have to self-isolate if one of their classmates tests positive.
Students from different stable 'bubble' groups will be allowed to interact with one another this year as long as they are wearing masks, while children from the same group will be able to play together outdoors without masks.