Teachers wanted to help with childhood vaccination

Teachers wanted to help with childhood vaccination
Credit: Belga

The Flemish municipalities of Mechelen and Sint-Katelijne-Waver want to call on primary school teachers to help vaccinate children, arguing that their presence would reassure younger children who may be nervous about getting the shot.

“They can give some extra explanations and have a chat,” Ellen Van Dessel from Huis van het Kind in Sint-Katelijne-Waver told VRT.

“We are fully confident that teachers often have the unique talent to deal very well with children in tense situations. We think that their presence at that moment can be an added value.”

Both Mechelen and Sint-Katelijne-Waver also have mascots that are popular with children, and Sint-Katelijne-Waver is looking for volunteers to don the costume and greet children at the vaccination centre.

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“They can be volunteers who enjoy working with children, to make the atmosphere in the vaccination centre more child-friendly and playful,” Van Dessel said.

“The idea is that they address children, give high fives, do a little jumping or dancing here and there. That makes it a bit more pleasant and fun for the children.”

Some positive reactions have already come in but the municipalities stress that the mascot role would require many volunteers in order to keep the workload low.

“Wearing a suit like that is very intense. You can’t do that for eight hours a day, so new volunteers are very welcome.”

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