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Mexico will expand teacher vaccinations to five additional states next week as the country moves toward in-person learning.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday the government will give teachers the single-dose CanSino vaccine to speed up their return to the classroom before the end of the school year in July.
Teachers in the Gulf coast state of Campeche were the first to receive vaccinations earlier this year. Starting Tuesday, teachers in Veracruz, Chiapas, Nayarit, Coahuila and Tamaulipas will start getting shots.
Secretary of Education Delfina Gómez said the schools will be cleaned, students will be appropriately spaced and will attend school on alternating days to keep class-size numbers low.
The government has committed to ensuring soap and water are available in all schools, something that has not always readily available at some rural areas.
Hugo López-Gatell, the government’s point man on the pandemic, said that in the next five weeks the government expects to vaccinate more than 3 million education workers in both public and private schools. The states involved will be expanded each week based on those with the lowest infection rates.
The government also plans to finish administering the first dose to senior citizens in the next 10 days.
More than 13.4 million Mexicans have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Last week, private sector doctors, dentists and health professionals protested because so far they have not been included in the government’s vaccination campaign. Government officials have maintained that the majority of health workers at highest risk are in the public sector.
Nearly 2.3 million Mexicans have had confirmed COVID-19 infections and more than 211,000 test-confirmed deaths have occurred. The government estimates the real death toll is more than 320,000.