Should Teachers and School Workers Get Vaccinated?

Dr. Sunil Vyas, Specialist – Pulmonolgy , Aster Hospital , Qusais

It is very important that teachers and school workers get vaccinated, as it will give confidence to parents regarding their children’s safety. As the vaccine has not been approved for those below 16 years of age, it becomes imperative that teachers and school workers get vaccinated which could prevent the spread of COVID-19 and also provide protection to teachers and school workers.

Every vaccine will have its pros and cons. The choice of vaccine, whether the virus is killed or live attenuated (made inactive for causing infection) also adds to the pros and cons.

The killed vaccine is going to be safer with fewer side effects, but the development of immunity will be less compared to a live vaccine. The live vaccine will lead to development of better immunity against COVID-19 but the chances of adverse events will be slightly higher than the killed vaccine.

With schools re-opening with options of blended learning and majority opting for online learning, it has become difficult for teachers, students and even parents adjust to this new means of teaching and learning.

In the long term, schools need to open and the best way forward is to vaccinate all teaching as well as non-teaching staff who are involved with school-going children.

As normalcy returns, children will begin attending schools and having interactions with fellow children and teachers. On the bright side, young children are not as affected by COVID-19 as other adults are. Hence, there is hope in future that everything will be normal with children going back to school.