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Schools are ‘a mirror of the epidemic’, expert says

Credit: Belga

Schools are “a mirror of the epidemic” rather than a driver for it, inter-federal spokesman Yves Van Laethem said on Tuesday.

“Schools are part of society,” he said, “and there is no reason why they should escape the increase in infections that is visible everywhere.”

Most of the children tested so far are tested because of high-risk contacts outside of school (45% outside versus 38% in school), Van Laethem added.

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This is also the case for teachers, in similar proportions, even though they can also infect each other in the rooms reserved for them – which the education ministers have decided to close in their new measures.

This partly explains the choice not to vaccinate school staff as a priority. The other reason is that Belgium has chosen “a route of vaccination that is linked to the impact on the health of the individual at risk and on the preservation of the structure of our health system.”

In other words, it is not focused on stopping the circulation of the virus.

Finally, there are some 500,000 teachers in Belgium, and given the limited number of vaccines available, vaccinating them as a priority would temporarily deprive people at risk of protection, he concluded.

The Brussels Times

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