Coronavirus: Give teachers priority for coronavirus vaccines so schools can stay open, WHO says

  • The WHO suggests that teachers be among the first groups to receive Covid-19 vaccinations so schools in Europe and Central Asia can stay open
  • But it should be done “while ensuring vaccination of vulnerable populations”
Agence France-Presse |

Latest Articles

Assessing ability of Hong Kong universities to attract global students

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at these 5 spots in Hong Kong

Air pollution hits Pakistan’s second-biggest city as sick children line up at hospitals

United Kingdom’s child poverty rates highest among world’s richest countries

Mathematics, reading skills decline among global teenagers: OECD survey

A teacher wearing a protective mask distributes documents to pupils in a classroom in western France. Photo: AFP

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 Organization (WHO) and Unicef said on Monday.

Measures to ensure that schools can stay open throughout the pandemic “include offering teachers and other school staff the Covid-19 vaccine as part of target population groups in national vaccination plans”, the UN agencies wrote in a statement.

Covid symptoms last a year for many patients, new study reveals

The recommendation, already 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.

The WHO suggests that teachers be given priority to get vaccinated. Photo: AFP

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

More than five billion coronavirus have been given around the world

“This is of paramount importance for children’s education, mental health and social skills, for schools to help equip our children to be happy and productive members of society,” said the director of the WHO European region, Hans Kluge, in the statement.

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

The agencies urged countries to vaccinate children who are older than 12 and have underlying medical conditions that put them at greater risk of severe Covid-19 disease.

Nicole Kidman gets to skip Hong Kong’s quarantine. Why can’t I?

It also recalled the importance of measures to improve the school environment during the pandemic, including better ventilation, smaller class sizes, social distancing and regular Covid testing for children and staff.

According to the WHO’s recommendations published in early July, testing of children in risk groups who display Covid-19 symptoms should be a priority.

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy