Society 09/02/2021

Health Department to vaccinate educational staff in the next three months

The Spanish government warns the Catalan administration that health workers must be immunised before other groups

2 min
One of AstraZeneca's vaccines on the verge of administration
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The more than 150,000 people who work in primary and secondary in Catalonia (teachers, monitors, administrative and service staff...) will be vaccinated against covid-19 in the next three months. "All the personnel will be immunised by next school year", claimed Catalan Education Minister, Josep Bargalló. This would allow measures in classrooms to be "less restrictive" next year. They will receive AstraZeneca vaccines, the first of which arrived this Monday and have already begun to be administered to health personnel, such as pharmacists or podiatrists, and also to other key workers, such as firefighters, police or prison officers. The educational staff, then, will be next in the queue.

At the moment, very few things are known, beyond that vaccination will be for "all staff", i.e. that there will be no distinction between state schools, faith schools and private schools. Neither will distinctions be made according to educational level - from kindergarten to vocational training, and that workers over 55 will have to be more patient because they will need to wait for Pfizer and Moderna jabs to become available. This is due to Spain's decision not to administer to those over 55. The Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon, has also admitted that university staff is not a priority, but has asked them to "not get nervous" because all this can evolve depending on the availability of vaccines

It remains to be known, for example, where and when the vaccines will be administered to teachers. "It seems to me an evidence that we will not be able to do it in all educational centers, but neither in only a dozen places", said Bargalló, precisely the day in which the department of Health has said that it would seek to use "emblematic" spaces of the country, such as the Camp Nou, the Sagrada Família or MNAC. These will be used when vaccination of the general population begins. The department of Health foresees that this week administration of second doses in many care homes will be complete and more health professionals will be vaccinated. The councillor of Health, Alba Vergés, has already pointed out that next week the over-80s will start getting the Pfizer and Moderna jabs. Sources of the Department of Health clarify, however, that this does not mean that the vaccination schedule is advanced, but that, on an ad hoc basis, some cases of vulnerable people will be vaccinated.

Darias warns Catalonia that the vaccination strategy must be the same throughout the State

Catalonia advancing its plans for the vaccination campaign five days before the elections has not much pleased the Spanish government. The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has warned that the strategy must be the same throughout the State. This means groups must be vaccinated in the order established in the interterritorial Health Commission, whose agreements are "binding". On Friday, in this commission, it was agreed that after health workers, second line of health personnel would get the jab. Thus, Catalonia announced on Monday that it would begin to vaccinate pharmacists and other health professionals, such as speech therapists or physiotherapists, but also to other groups considered essential, such as emergency and security forces. "We have not disobeyed nor are we even thinking of doing it because the public would not understand," said Argimon when asked about Darias's reproach.