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teachers should be priority group for Covid-19 jabs: WHO

Teachers should be priority group for Covid-19 jabs: WHO

PARIS – Teachers and school staff should be among the groups prioritised for Covid-19 vaccinations so that schools in Europe and Central Asia can stay open, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Unicef said yesterday.

Measures to ensure that schools can stay open throughout the pandemic “in- clude offering teachers and other school staff the Covid-19 vaccine as part of target popu- lation groups in national vac- cination plans,” the UN agen- cies wrote in a statement.

The recommendation, al-

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ready made by a group of WHO experts in November 2020 before the vaccination roll-out, should be done “while ensuring vaccination of vulnerable populations,” the statement said.

As schools reopen after the summer holidays, the agen- cies said it was “vital that classroom-based learning continue uninterrupted,” de- spite the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.

“This is of paramount im- portance for children’s educa- tion, mental health and social

skills, for schools to help equip our children to be happy and productive members of soci- ety,” the director of the WHO European region, Hans Kluge, said in the statement.

“The pandemic has caused the most catastrophic disrup- tion to education in history,” he added.

The agencies urged coun- tries to vaccinate children over the age of 12 who have under- lying medical conditions that put them at greater risk of se- vere Covid-19 disease.

It also recalled the impor- tance of measures to improve

Teacher Faseega Solomon from Manenberg High in Cape Town gets a jab.

the school environment According to the WHO’s rec-

during the pandemic, includ- ing better ventilation, smaller class sizes, social distancing and regular Covid testing for children and staff.

ommendations published in early July, testing of children in risk groups who display Covid-19 symptoms should be a priority. – AFP.

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