A decision to not to prioritise teachers for Covid-19 vaccine despite pupils returning to schools from March 8th has been mate with backlash from a Sheffield teaching union.
The Government announced today that the next stage of vaccinations will focus on age groups rather than occupations. People aged 40-49 will be the next cohort to receive the vaccine, with no priority given to teachers or police officers.
Toby Mallinson, district secretary for Sheffield’s National Education Union, said: “We believe that school, alongside other key worker staff who are more vulnerable, should be prioritised for the vaccine.”
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said: “Vaccinations stop people from dying and the current strategy is to prioritise those who are more likely to have severe outcomes and die from COVID-19.
“Continuing the age-based rollout will provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time, including to those in occupations at a higher risk of exposure.”
18 million people in the UK have currently received their first dose of the vaccine, and the Government plan to have all UK adults vaccinated by July. The decision to prioritise age over occupation however has received backlash from teachers unions.
The NASUWT teachers union has launched the campaign #Vaccinate2Educate, which focuses on making teachers a priority in the vaccination rollout. A template is uploaded to their website that teachers can use to email their MP about the issue.