Narva school teachers have differing views on COVID-19 vaccination

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The Estonian High School building in Narva. Source: Google maps

The vaccination of education workers is set to begin over the next week, but teachers in Narva hold differing views on vaccinations: Some schools are wholly in favor of vaccines, but only a third would get vaccinated in some schools.

There is currently no concrete plan set for the vaccination of teachers. The general idea is that injections will begin in mid-February and city governments will handle the organization. Teachers will likely not have to go anywhere for vaccinations as healthcare workers will come to them.

A list of Narva school vaccinations is currently being drawn up. "Practically all of our teachers want to get vaccinated. I do not know how much we fear the virus, but this self-isolation, which has hit some teachers on three occasions, is undeniably a strong motivator," said Narva Estonian High School director Uta Kroon-Assafrei.

While holding a questionnaire in a smaller school, such as the 24-teacher Estonian High School, goes by quickly, it takes considerably more time in a smaller school. After Wednesday's full day of surveying teachers in Narva Pähklimäe High School, the choices of only half the teachers were gathered.

"I can currently say that one third of the teachers have said they would like to be vaccinated," said Pähklimäe High School director Vjatšeslav Konovalov.

The school manager hopes the applicant count reaches 50 percent by the end of the survey process. Konovalov noted that even voluntary vaccinations leave some teachers with questions.

"The main question is that if sanctions will be implemented in case a teacher refuses the vaccine, or if they are laid off and so on. And then, as director, I have to explain that vaccinations are a good thing, it gives a person confidence and the ability to travel, for example. But people make their own choices at the end of the day, " Konovalov explained.

According to the Ministry of Education, a more clear overview of teachers' desire to get vaccinated should become clear in the first days of next week.

Narva City Government's culture department, where schools eventually will send their lists, hopes to clear things up in a week. The city government does not have the complete data on how many teachers are to be vaccinated in Narva schools yet either. It is also unclear, why the education ministry and city government are working on vaccination lists concurrently.

As it seems now, vaccines will be ordered based on the ministry's list and vaccinations will be conducted as of the city government's list. Which one of those is more accurate however will become clear once ambulance vehicles reach the schools of Narva.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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