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Teachers could be bumped up Covid-19 vaccine priority list – Leicestershire Live

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/teachers-could-bumped-up-covid-4873381

A new priority list for the Covid-19 vaccinations currently being rolled out across the country could see teachers “bumped up” to help reopen schools, it has emerged.

The government is set to revise its schedule for those workers and professionals who it thinks will need to receive the jabs first as it looks to strike a balance between tackling rising infections and minimising the disruption to children’s education due to the latest coronavirus lockdown.

Professor Adam Finn is a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI), a group which makes recommendations to the government on a priority list.

He has said that a revised list is being put together, with discussions likely to begin as early as this Thursday (January 14), writes the Mirror Online.

Prof Finn said the body was under orders to come up with a new plan by the middle of February. His comments come after it emerged some schools in Leicestershire still have around 70 per cent of pupils attending, despite the Government’s order for all schools to close last week.

Prof Finn told Sky News: “Absolutely that’s the next phase of the programme and JCVI will be discussing over the coming month ‘phase two’ if you like, of who will be prioritised next.”

Covid-19 Vaccination centre at the Charnwood Borough Council Offices in Loughborough. Teachers could soon be bumped up the priority list
(Image: Leicester Mercury)

He added: “As you can appreciate these considerations start to be social values in a way, more than the criteria we normally use which is pressure on the health service.

“There are broader considerations when it comes to people with different occupations and the relative importance they have to society.

“But I would certainly be a strong advocate for schools and teachers.”

Prof Finn said he couldn’t predict exactly what would be prioritised.

And he said the vaccine rollout will already have prevented thousands of people from having to be admitted to hospital with the virus.

Vaccinating teachers more quickly could see schools reopen sooner
(Image: PA)

The Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Bristol told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “It’s really too soon for the vaccine to have started having a measurable impact, but we can predict that already it’s preventing cases just simply from the numbers of people who’ve received the vaccine which is now approaching one-and-a-half million people, and the rate of infection that’s occurring which is really very high now.

“So there are certainly thousands of people already who have not been admitted to hospital and who will not be dying of this infection as a consequence of the programme that’s begun in December.”

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