Teachers at no greater risk of mortality, says minister

Government is following the science over vaccine prioritisation, says minister Nadhim Zahawi
11th January 2021, 8:11pm
Catherine Lough

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Teachers at no greater risk of mortality, says minister

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/teachers-no-greater-risk-mortality-says-minister
Nadhim Zahawi

Teachers and school staff are at no greater risk of mortality from coronavirus than others, the government's minister for Covid vaccine deployment has said.

Speaking at a Westminster Hall debate on a petition calling to prioritise teachers, school and childcare staff for Covid-19 vaccination, minister Nadhim Zahawi said the government was following the science on the issue.


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"In light of the petition...I want to reflect on the basic principle that sits behind our prioritisation and our strategy," he said.

"Yes, we want to minimise disruption for pupils, and parents and teachers. Yes, we want to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed. Yes, we want to protect UK jobs and businesses as much as we possibly can but, fundamentally, it is about saving lives, operationally about saving as many lives as possible as quickly as possible.

"We are following the science, and we are vaccinating according to the [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] prioritisation," he said.

"Obviously, if a teacher or a school or childcare worker falls within one of the cohorts, they will be absolutely contacted by the NHS at the appropriate time to receive the vaccine but the importance of starting with our most vulnerable groups cannot be overstated. There is no evidence that teachers, school or childcare workers are at higher risk of mortality."

Earlier today, Mr Zahawi said that teachers would be in the "highest category of phase two" of the vaccine rollout, along with other critical workers, such as police officers.

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