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Large Number of Hungary’s Teachers Caught COVID, Survey Says

Tamás Vaski 2021.01.28.

Online education has proved a necessity for the time being, since many teachers in Hungary tested positive for the coronavirus last year. A joint survey by the 21 Research Center and the Trade Union of Teachers (PSZ) found that 19 percent of the 1269 teachers involved in the study had previously caught the virus.

The survey, liberal news portal 24.hu reports, found that among those teachers who caught the virus, a quarter (24 percent) were 18-29 years old, 19 percent were between 30-59 years old, and 15 percent were 60 years or older.

The vast majority of those afflicted caught the virus during the second wave, and only a fraction of respondents caught the virus during the first or both waves.

The lifting of restrictions between the first and second waves is the logical reason for the sudden jump in infections, since online education was no longer mandatory in Hungary for the fall semester.

Despite the noticeable increase in infections during the second wave, relatively few teachers are willing to be vaccinated. Among those surveyed, 43 percent said they would get vaccinated, 36 percent are uncertain, and 21 percent said they do not want to be vaccinated.

The survey found that willingness for vaccination increases with age, those who feel more at risk at their workplace are more willing to be vaccinated.

Teacher's Union Demands Swift Vaccinations, Digital Work Schedule
Teacher's Union Demands Swift Vaccinations, Digital Work Schedule

The Democratic Trade Union of Teachers (PDSZ) is calling on the government to arrange the swift vaccination of teachers against Covid-19 and to introduce an online work schedule in the education sector. In a letter addressed to the prime minister, the human resources minister, the innovation and technology minister and the state secretary for public […]Continue reading

Adding to their frustration is that among those surveyed, only 19 percent of those who caught COVID received 100 percent of their sick pay, which the Hungarian government promised to any teacher who could prove they were infected at school. The glaring difficulty teachers had with this was likely in proving when and where they were infected.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Sóki/MTI