Covid19 Vaccine for Teachers
On December 8th at 6:30am , Margaret Keenen, a 90 year old grandmother of 4, became the first person to receive the Pfizer/BioTech COVID vaccine in the UK vaccination program.
The first rollout of the vaccine will focus on the most vulnerable groups, the elderly, workers at care homes and medical staff. It will also prioritize people with underlying health conditions, vulnerable to the virus.
The second phase of vaccination, which won’t start until well into 2021, will focus on the under-50s.
So the questions is:
When will teachers be vaccinated against COVID19?
While teachers have not been prioritised in the first phase, a report suggests that “vaccination of those at increased risk of exposure” to Covid “due to their occupation” could be a “priority in the next phase.
That means that public workers such as the police and fire fighters would be next, but will that include teachers? What case do teachers have to be in the next phase:
Schools are social hubs
- Well, several teacher unions have urged teachers and school staff to be considered. The simple reason – Teachers and staff come into contact with a lot of people.
Teachers work closely with kids and other adults throughout the day, even if schools take pains to maintain social distance. Duration is also a factor. Teachers and school staff are indoors with children for hours at a time, every day. Then, at some point those kids will go back to their homes. Schools could potentially be superspreaders, so vaccinating teachers and school staff also decreases the risk of COVID-19 for students who may not be able to get the vaccine yet themselves — as well as their families.
Helping the Community
- During these last grueling months of the lockdown, kids have had to stay at home which means that most parents had to find a way to take care of them. Teachers would help a lot of parents by opening the schools and taking in the learners. Experts predict that kids will most likely be the last group to receive the vaccine, so it makes sense to place children with COVID-free adults
Students are behind on their learning
- That being said, even though many teachers have embraced online teaching – Like you can see in my video on how to teach online here (smile) – there is no doubt that most students are behind on their learning. We have to ensure that our teachers are immune and healthy to educate our youth and raise their level of education back to where it is supposed to be.
Short on Staff
- One of the biggest challenges administrators have faced in reopening schools has simply been staffing. There has long been a teacher shortage in the U.S., exacerbated during the pandemic. The problem has reached a boiling point around the world where schools have been forced to close as case counts have surged and staff have needed to quarantine. We aren’t going to be able to find new teachers and substitutes overnight, we have to care of the ones we have, and that means prioritizing their heath.
- Teachers could help spread public trust in the vaccine. “Fear and mistrust of routine immunizations has been on the rise largely due to a vocal, well-established, and growing anti-vaccination movement”. If teachers are among the first to get vaccinated that could help increase public trust. “The education community could be a ‘trusted messenger’ to help ease anxieties and increase the trust factor among the population. By giving the vaccine to educators early, it would gain the trust of other members of the public to get vaccinated too.
So, 5 reasons why teachers should be considered to be in Phase 2 of receiving the COVID19 vaccine.
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I’m Eric from Etacude wishing you happy, and healthy 2021.