New York City started vaccinating teachers on Monday. The United Federation of teachers had recently objected to continuing in-person classes due to lack of safety measures. However, the teachers will now be able to continue the regular classes in the next few weeks.
Apart from teachers, priority is also given to elderly people and other public safety workers in the first phase of mass vaccination programs.
New York City Begins Vaccination Of Teachers
The city schools were shut on November 19 due to the rising number of coronavirus cases across the state. Many students are not able to attend regular classes and most of them had a difficult time to access remote classes. Considering this situation, the authorities felt that it was important to include teachers in the first phase of vaccination so that schools can be reopened in a regular manner at the earliest.
The state authorities felt that school children were falling behind academically in a huge way due to lack of in-person education. Experts in the industry had warned that this could hamper the overall development of children in the long run. Apart from that, it also put additional burden on parents as children had to stay at home for a long duration. This was a huge problem for working parents as they had to alter their working hours in order to accommodate the children at home.
Health experts are of the opinion that children were at low risk of catching the virus. Not only that, children are also in the low risk category when it comes to transmitting the virus to other people. Even though this is not completely established in a scientific manner, it is clearly evident by the data that children were spared to a large extent by the covid-19 pandemic.
The health department is also making suitable arrangements to include other essential workers in the first phase of the vaccination program. The grocery store workers are also included in the category to receive covid-19 vaccines. This is a welcome move as such workers interact with the large number of people on a daily basis. They are more vulnerable to catching the infection due to their interaction with the public. Not only that, vaccinating the grocery workers will also ensure public safety in the long run as this will lead to less transmission in the community.
Many teachers initially objected to in-person classes as they thought that it was a huge risk to attend the regular classes without a vaccine. Several teachers preferred to take remote classes as it was a safer option in this pandemic situation. Some of them who did not have any option also resigned from their jobs due to their health conditions.
Several teachers suffering from co-morbid conditions are at high risk of contracting the virus if they start taking regular classes. Apart from that, it is also a difficult situation for the school authorities when the teachers are infected in the middle of the academic session. This also has a severe impact on the continuity of classes and the overall administration has to struggle a lot to find the correct replacement in the middle of an academic year.
In order to avoid all these complications, the state authorities have decided to give priority to teachers when it comes to receiving the covid-19 vaccines. In this manner, schools can now reopen safely in the next few weeks across the state.
This is a welcome move by New York State and several other states are also likely to follow similar guidelines in the first phase of the vaccination program. Health experts have suggested making suitable changes to the vaccine distribution program depending upon local requirements.