Teachers kick off about 'blatant disregard' for education changes to vaccination scheme

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Teachers kick off about changes to vaccination scheme

The main national schoolteacher's union that represents staff in Laois and other counties is extremely angry about the changes announced in the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) says is extremely concerned by widespread media reports concerning potential changes to the Government’s National Vaccination Programme.

It says such a change would "abandon" carefully considered priority groups who are working on the frontline.  It said there has been "zero consultation" or notification of this "drastic change" which is certain to affect its members’ confidence about safety at work.

The teachers say it is essential that teachers and all key workers should continue to be prioritised once vulnerable people and the elderly are vaccinated. The union said it will be seeking an emergency meeting with the Department of Education to protest strongly against any downgrading of our profession on the vaccination list.

INTO General Secretary John Boyle said it seems education is supposed to be a priority.

“For months now we have heard the Government say, time after time, that education is the top priority for Government. How then can teachers be treated with such blatant disregard as frontline education workers?

"This move undermines the efforts of our education staff to keep our primary and special schools open safely. This is unacceptable and the Government must prioritise the safety of teachers and all key workers once the vulnerable and elderly are first protected by vaccination,” he said.

The new change will see vaccines administered on an age-related basis.