Teachers should have priority in vaccinating against COVID-19, as stated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, for its acronym in English) in the Statement of UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
As they explain, “the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the education of children around the world. The vaccination of teachers is a fundamental measure so that they return to study again ”, they declare.
Likewise, UNICEF details that “at its peak, at the end of April 2020, the closure of schools nationwide interrupted the learning of almost 90% of students worldwide.”
While the number has declined since then, some continue to unsubstantiate the assumption that school closures can slow the spread of the disease, despite mounting evidence that schools are not the primary focus of transmission in the community, they assured.
“Because of this assumption, as cases are skyrocketing in many countries around the world, communities are closing schools again. As of December 1, the schools of 1 in 5 students in the world were closed, constituting 320 million children, ”the statement reads.
For this reason, UNICEF calls for teachers to be given priority in vaccinating against COVID-19, once front-line health personnel and high-risk populations have been vaccinated. This will help protect teachers from the virus, allow them to teach in person and ultimately help keep schools open, they said.
“Although decisions about the distribution of vaccines ultimately rest with governments, the consequences of a prolonged lack of learning, or their deterioration, are overwhelming, especially for the most marginalized. The longer children stay out of school, the less likely they are to return to school, and the more difficult it will be for their parents to resume their work, ”UNICEF warned.
In turn, they declared that “these are difficult decisions that force us to assume difficult counterparts. But what shouldn’t be difficult is making the decision to do everything in our power to safeguard the future of the next generation. This task begins by protecting those responsible for opening the way to that future. “