These are the reasons Northamptonshire Telegraph readers think teaching staff should be prioritised for Covid jab

There’s been intense debate over who should be next for the COVID-19 vaccination – with politicans and Telegraph readers giving a compelling case for teaching staff to go next.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 4:49 pm

It is the Government’s target for everyone in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) top four priority groups to have had their first Covid vaccine dose by Monday, February 15.

These groups are:One – residents in a care home for older adults and their carersTwo – all those aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care workersThree – all those aged 75 and overFour – all those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)

The Association of School and College Leaders said the past few months of the pandemic had put English schools under “enormous pressure”, calling for education staff to be prioritised for the vaccine.Labour has also argued this week that teachers should be vaccinated in a bid to reopen schools – which are shut until at least March 8.But Telegraph readers say it shouldn’t be just teachers who are given the vaccine - essential workers should be among those invited for a Covid jab too.We asked who you thought should be next in line for a Covid jab after those in the first four groups.This is what you said on the Northamptonshire Telegraph Facebook page.

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You have been sharing your views on the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Claire Palmersaid: “If teachers are vaccinated then all school staff need to be vaccinated at the same time. At the moment lots of schools have teaching assistants working with the children in school while teachers are having to facilitate the remote learning and giving live lessons ect.

"If parents are following the rules then the children in school are at no greater risk whether staff are vaccinated or not. With the government expanding the criteria regarding keyworker and vulnerable children, a lot of schools are working at around 40-50% capacity anyway so already everyone is at higher risk than the first lockdown.”

Marie Earl said: “Yes, vaccinate teachers and school staff. without them I couldn’t do my job as a support worker and I would feel better knowing that the teachers were looked after just as well as they look after my kids. No life is worth more than another’s you can never say someone deserves it more than another.”

Mark Short said: “No. Vaccination should be by clinical need. Vaccinating teachers in half term will not get schools back earlier (it takes three weeks for immunity to develop). Transmission associated with schools is mostly between children and between children and home. Other employment groups are more at risk. It would be perverse to vaccinate 23-year-old teachers before clinically vulnerable 69-year-old men. I am a retired teacher.”

Most people agree with Labour's proposal that teachers should be vaccinated against the virus next.

Lindsey Kennedy said:For continuity’s sake yes. If staff are protected from getting sick then pupils won’t be disadvantaged by absent teachers and support staff once back at school.”

Johno Ruffett said: “Give them the vaccine, yes, send kids back, no, nothing stopping kids then spreading COVID-19 amongst each other and bringing it home.”

Zoe Clarke said: “I think we are all a priority after the elderly and vulnerable. School staff are quite often young and I’m nearly 50 but have to wait. I also go into vulnerable peoples houses for work but I’m bottom of the pile so we are all priority in some way.”

Sarah Grimston said: “The problem is every time you prioritise someone another priority group is moved down the ladder. Not saying teachers are not a priority. But so many people are. And we know age and underlying health conditions are the biggest risk factors.”

Lucy Oramsaid:“If this is a consideration then surely Early Years providers should be up there some where as well. They’ve been open to all children during this lock down with no PPE and no social distancing possible. Everyone is a priority in some way.”

Jody Sanderson said: “My husband still has to physically go to work, so should he and the countless other people who still go to work that don’t fall into the ‘key worker’ category have an early jab too? That’s not going to happen is it so therefore teachers too should wait their turn.”

Jordan Funnell said: “Absolutely give them the vaccine. They've worked hard throughout and have had so much criticism. They deserve it as much as any other key worker.”

Wayne Mann said: “Yes of course. We need children back in the classroom and must keep school staff safe. The school environment is a notorious spreader of the virus, we either close them fully or vaccinate staff and open them fully!”

Anita Smith said: “It doesn't really solve the bigger picture - yes, it would be good to be protected as a teacher but it doesn't stop the spread across children and their families, which is still no help to the NHS! No teachers want to see it spread across their school community!”

Catherine Prati said: “I think all supermarket staff should be done ASAP too, as they are in contact with public all day everyday.”

Stef White said: “That would only be the first injection, they need the booster after. They still won't be in the clear (with the best will in the world) for a good three months. By all means though they should be given the immunisation ASAP.”