Schools attempting to increase teacher and student vaccination rates

An empty classroom (photo is illustrative).
An empty classroom (photo is illustrative). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Schools are preparing for the upcoming schoolyear and are attempting to increase the vaccination coverage among students and teachers. The Ministry of Education and Research will soon draw up a rulebook, based on which schools will hopefully be able to open their doors until the end of the schoolyear.

People gathered to the mobile vaccination point set up in Mustamäe on Tuesday as soon as it showed up. A lot of people queuing up for vaccination were school-aged and came with both parents and friends, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday.

The immunoprophylaxis expert committee recommends vaccinating young people, but emphasizes at the same time that the adult school family is most important in keeping schools open. The committee has set a goal of vaccinating 90-95 percent of all school employees in Estonia.

"Last year, children went on distance learning primarily because we did not want teachers to get seriously ill, especially if they are older teachers. I would call all school workers, not just teachers - schools also closed because chefs got sick - to get vaccinated," said Irja Lutsar, committee member and head of the government's scientific council.

Kostivere School in Jõelähtme municipality will offer vaccinations for its students and workers from September 2. Director Olga Saikovskaja said she hopes to see most people get vaccinated during the summer or in the start of September in order to avoid problems with study organization.

She explained that if a teacher was a close contact in the spring, they were sent home and a replacement was found, meaning the infected teacher did not have to go on sick leave. How the situation would be managed in the fall, when vaccinations are widely available, she does not know.

"If a student, an unvaccinated student, gets sick, they will go isolate and study at home. This means the parent will decide if the child is not vaccinated, they will be responsible for their child's distance learning arrangement," the director said.

Tallinn German High School director Kaarel Rundu said everyone has to contribute. "I have called everyone to use vaccination options on all my social media channels so that children could come to school, could go and do sports, so that we could all do class trips," Rundu said.

"The (daily coronavirus - ed) numbers we have are scary, the growth. I feel like it is possible to do a lot now so that the fall could be better than the previous year's," the director added.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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