Reopening of schools, fear of variants: pushes to complete the vaccination of school staff. But there is no obligation

The return to class safely is back at the center of the debate and is inevitably linked to the vaccination campaign: with the variants that seem more threatening, the vaccine could make a difference. This is why it is pushing towards the acceleration of the completion of the immunization of the vaccination campaign. But at the moment, there is no obligation.

The first to push the vaccine to all (or almost) the missing school staff is Francesco Figliuolo: the extraordinary commissioner, after having quantified the contingent of missing teachers and Ata, wrote to the Regions: go and look “even more proactive “the school staff, teaching and non-teaching, who have not yet adhered” to the vaccination campaign, also involving the competent doctors to raise awareness in the school community in an even more widespread way “.

The idea is therefore a sort of fast track. Figliuolo stressed that some regions have achieved positive results, reaching 85% while others are definitely below the national average which is 80%.

For this reason, the Commissioner stresses the need to “encourage vaccination” for the “School, teaching and non-teaching staff” considering it ‘‘priority in booking and reserving preferential lanes also at vaccination hubs ”.

“Look for teachers and Ata to be vaccinated, preferential lanes in vaccination hubs”. Figliuolo writes to the Regions

In reality, according to other sources, there are Regions that exceed 90% and at least 5 instead below 60%. Among those below 80% – there are 8-9, the general said yesterday – is there Sicily, reports Ansa, whose president Nello Musumeci states “we have 79% of the school population including teachers and learners who have already received at least the first dose“. According to the Department of Health of the Sardinia instead, 78.9% of the school staff were vaccinated. For the Region, the figure of the latest national report, which places the island at around 66.7%, would therefore be underestimated.

The principals are worried: “We asked the Ministry as an association to know in time how we should behave, the organization requires a certain timing, it is unthinkable to say it two days before, we plan to meet shortly at the technical table for the protocol security that we signed last year on August 6, we hope to sign it earlier this year. If we try to prefigure reality we can hypothesize adequate countermeasures. For example, I would like to understand if with the current vaccination plan we are covered with the Delta variant, ”he says Antonello Giannelli, president of the National Association of principals, who instead on the vaccination of school staff, comments: ”There was the privileged vaccine for the school world which was the Astrazeneca and which suffered negative publicity, a feeling of mistrust was generated with respect to this vaccine and I think that someone rightly hesitated. I don’t think these 200,000 unvaccinated school workers are no vax, I think they are well aware that getting vaccinated is right, they just didn’t trust Astrazeneca and I can’t blame them given what happened, but there are other vaccines and a moral suasion is needed in this sense”.

However, no vaccination obligation can be imposed. At least at the moment, as the Undersecretary for Education Rossano Sasso recalls: “In Italy, as far as I’m concerned, there is no vaccination obligation, including students – Rossano Sasso comments -. For children under 12, there is no vaccine that is certain. However, we hope that school workers, the 15% who have not yet done so, can be vaccinated to avoid the closures.“.

On the resumption of the school year, he said: “After a year and a half of great sacrifices on the part of citizens and immense efforts by the institutions, it is not possible that the only way forward is again that of distance learning. We cannot limit ourselves to recommending the use of masks and the maintenance of distances without an overall rethinking of the protocols. There is still time to avoid ending up in a dead end, but we have to move ”.

Opinions on vaccination also come from the world of science: second Massimo Andreoni, scientific director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit) and head of Infectious Diseases at the Tor Vergata Polyclinic in Rome, the reopening of the school in September “remains a risk. The data, albeit somewhat controversial, have shown that institutions remain places where there can be an amplification of the Covid infection. Precisely for this reason we must do everything to vaccinate teachers and children in these 2 months that are missing, otherwise it will be really hard to reopen them safely”.

The virologist’s comment even more decisive Francesco Menichetti, Head of Infectious Diseases at the Pisa hospital. “Back to school? There must not be a discriminatory solution, but it is clear that if we carry out a vaccination campaign aimed at young people to send them to school“In presence,”and these young people for no good health reason do not get vaccinated, they will Dad. It seems rational to me”.


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