Removal of vaccine priority for school staff slammed

Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane has this week criticised the Government for “pushing teachers and special needs assistants to the back of the queue”, as part of changes to Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Deputy Kerrane said the Government’s approach to the rollout was “chaotic”.

“The plans have been chopped and changed several times, and the latest plan will see staff on the frontline – special needs assistants, teachers and childcare workers – going to work every day, left waiting.

“It doesn’t make sense that someone without an underlying condition, who is able to work from home, could get the vaccine in advance of teaching staff, who must go to work every day and support our young people,” she said.

Deputy Kerrane said that she had urged Education Minister Norma Foley to engage with the HSE and NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) to see if school staff could be prioritised.

“It is shocking that not only did the Minister fail to secure this greater priority, but she has allowed her Cabinet colleagues to strip school staff of any priority at all,” Deputy Kerrane added.

The Sinn Féin TD called for urgent clarity around the vaccine rollout for school staff, describing the current situation as disgraceful.