The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation has expressed their concerns about potential changes to the Government’s National Vaccination Programme.
The INTO has responded to reports that the vaccination programme is to be changed to an age-based system, once those aged 70 years and older, the vulnerable and people with underlying conditions are immunised.
This proposed change which is being recommended by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee would mean that teachers and workers in essential jobs who can’t avoid exposure to Covid-19 will not be vaccinated as priority groups.
The INTO released the following statement today in relation to the proposed change: “Such a change would abandon carefully considered priority groups who are working on the frontline. There has been zero consultation or notification of this drastic change which is certain to affect our members’ confidence about safety at work.
"INTO will be seeking an emergency meeting with the Department of Education to protest strongly against any downgrading of our profession on the vaccination list.”
INTO General Secretary John Boyle said the move ‘undermines the efforts of our education staff’:
“For months now we have heard the government say, time after time, that education is the top priority for the government. How then can teachers be treated with such blatant disregard as frontline education workers? This move undermines the efforts of our education staff to keep our primary and special schools open safely.
“This is unacceptable and the Government must prioritise the safety of teachers and all key workers once the vulnerable and elderly are first protected by vaccination,” he said.