Belgian schools are open. But teachers, left off the vaccine priority list, are rethinking the risks.
In Belgium, teachers have been working in classrooms for most of the school year, including when their country’s infection rates were the worst in the world in October. Students up to age 13 are attending school full time, while older students have a mix of half in-person, half remote. So the decision to leave teachers off the priority list and vaccinate police officers and other professions ahead of them was a surprise to many educators.
“We have seen in recent days a 180-degree U-turn,” said Marc Mansis, secretary general of Belgium’s Professional Association of Free Education Staff, a teachers union. “Teachers were essential workers, but apparently they are not anymore.”
In the United States, where about half of students are learning from home, 28 states and the District have begun offering vaccines to teachers. Many teachers have asked for vaccines before they start teaching inside classrooms again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged states to prioritize teachers, while also advising that vaccination is not necessary …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]