Despite more voices, increased exposure, and examples in other European countries, public education employees won’t be prioritized in the vaccination campaign, the government once again confirmed.
As we reported earlier, teachers’ unions are not satisfied with the government’s attitude and measures towards the public education sector during the pandemic. In the center of criticism is the order of vaccination (while they also lack meaningful help with the switch to digital teaching) as their exposure is relatively high.
Instead of a vaccination procedure consisting of various sections, the government insists on its plan based on underlying illnesses and age factors. However, prioritization and exceptions are not something unheard of either, as a number of footballers and (would-be) Olympians have already been inoculated.
Yet the Minister of Human Capacities once again confirmed that no priority would be given for public education employees. In response to a Jobbik MP in Parliament, Miklós Kásler on Tuesday said that “teachers will get vaccinated in the same way as all other Hungarian citizens, with respect to their age and health conditions.”
Meanwhile, President of the National Teachers’ Chamber (NPK), an organization created by the government a few years ago, also argued for the teaching community’s vaccination priority. Péter Horváth stated that just as the plan was made public, he turned to the State Secretary for Public Education asking for teachers to follow healthcare and social care workers in the vaccination order as this was the only scenario “in which public educational institutions could operate safely.” And that would help parents to focus on their jobs, which helps to ensure that all children receive the development to suit their age and to benefit from community experiences that are important besides studying, Horváth explained.
According to the recently-published report of investigative site Átlátszó, out of 27 EU member countries, some eighteen eventually prioritized teachers, and only five decided not to do so (four would decide later), a tendency that corresponds to UNICEF’s and WHO’s stances, as the two international bodies had recommended teachers’ prioritization for quite awhile.
featured image illustration via János Vajda/MTI