Primary school teachers won’t receive a priority in the vaccination rollout, for the time being, according to Flemish Minister of Public Health Wouter Beke.
Together with his federal counterpart Frank Vandenbroucke, it was previously decided that, aside from policemen, no professional groups would not be given priority in the strategy to avoid further complicating the rollout.
"There are a lot of professional groups that would like to take their turn first, and we absolutely understand that. But if we were to give priority to one of these groups, we would be starting a bidding process that would be impossible to meet,” Beke’s cabinet told Het Laatste Nieuws.
At the inter-ministerial conference of health ministers, it was decided that policemen would be the only professional group to be given priority in vaccination, following advice from experts, including from the Bioethics Commission.
- Vaccines can't replace lockdowns and curfews yet, WHO says
- AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective, EMA confirms
Beke’s spokesperson added that, since this week, kindergarten teachers have been at the top of the vaccination centres' reserve lists, “so in this way, they can already be given priority in practice."
The directors of the Catholic primary education called for teachers to be vaccinated as a priority, in order to be able to keep the schools open as much as possible in an open letter to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and other relevant ministers on Friday morning.
"Being able to offer education physically means a world of difference for our pupils. Nothing beats the physical proximity of the teacher for conveying the subject matter and for offering a warm nest,” the letter read.
It emphasised that if teachers have to go into quarantine when they fall ill, or because they have high-risk contacts, which often results in classes or even schools being forced to close.
The Brussels Times