Penultimate place in the penultimate group: This is the current situation of teachers with access to a corona vaccination. Just a quick reminder: The se are those people who are not only concerned with the personified future of Germany , namely to take care of the children and their education and healthy development. It is also those people who are taking one of the top positions in the “End the Lockdown” project these days.
While most other people who have been able to work in the home office in the past few months continue to do so for the time being, teachers should now get back into real life, where they will meet a significant number of people outside the household. In closed rooms. Without plexiglass. Without air filter. And with, depending on the age of the children, absolutely necessary or hardly avoidable close contact.
It should go without saying that these people are given a higher place in the prioritization list for corona vaccination, as the Chancellor and Health Minister are currently checking. Because whoever bears an increased risk in the service of the general public can expect an early chance of vaccination. According to the current vaccination ordinance, however, in which teachers are to be found in the third of three preferred groups, their turn would probably be in summer at the earliest.
Every contact carries a risk, also at school
Schools are the first to reopen when the infection numbers allow. That has long been recognized. And it is absolutely correct, given the grave consequences of homeschooling for children. But the logical conclusion from this is that those who expose themselves to increased risk in their work in the reopened schools should also be among the first to be vaccinated. According to all that is known, children have a lower risk of contracting Covid-19, and they are also less likely to pass the virus on than adults. And yet contact with them naturally carries a risk. This is all the higher, the higher the number of infections in a region and the more children sit in a room with the windows closed.
A changed sequence of vaccinations, in which teachers move up, is not only necessary for reasons of fairness. It is also essential in order to be able to manage the exit from lockdown in a sensible way. Only if teachers stay healthy can the school and daycare operations, which are so important for the children, be maintained. And by preventing foci of infection in such large groups as in schools by vaccinating particularly infectious adults, vaccination of teachers and educators ultimately helps to protect the entire population.
However, vaccinations should not remain the only instrument. It is just as important to have rapid tests as frequent as possible for students before going to school. In view of the spread of the new virus variants, it is already risky to reopen schools now. Without accompanying measures such as vaccinations and tests, they will have to go back to the break very quickly.