Teachers last back into UK
Wednesday 22 September 2059 40718 Shares
European teachers are today being lauded as the last group eligible to re-enter Britain once the vaccine rollout allows borders to reopen this summer.
The initiative, designed to prevent the spread of new mutations of the coronavirus, is likely to passed into law next week. Government research released by the Faculty of Overseas Labour, produced in conjunction with partner EU research groups, found that teachers across Europe are up to 7 times more likely to carry one of the new strains of the coronavirus which it’s believed could threaten the successful vaccine rollout programme. Previous strains, such as the Brazilian or the South African variants, have been found to be protected against in approximately 97.7 percent of individuals who have had both of their vaccine doses, and as high as 88 percent coverage for those with only a single dose. However, as yet untested mutations such as the Dutch variant, discovered in a London hospital on Monday, have raised concerns that the successful vaccine rollout could be rendered obsolete if they are proven to be resistant to either of the two approved vaccines; the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine.
The research, showing that the more transmissible mutations of the virus are spreading most rapidly amongst the school-age population, claims to also show that there is a “considerable and notable” possibility that teachers pose the highest risk of continued mutation spread of any demographic within the adult population; up to 4 times more than nurses and other medical practitioners.
The news comes days after the German health ministry, backed by a research paper released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showing further instances of blood clotting, once again suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the under-60 population.
The proposal, which applies to any individual with exposure to school environments, includes: teachers, teaching assistants, support staff and admin staff, and is thought to last until at least the beginning of 2022. Individuals who are able to provide evidence of having received both doses of an approved vaccine will be exempt from the travel ban.
It’s as yet unclear how the new regulations will be enforced, but a spokesperson for the Faculty of Overseas Labour said: “we are working with our European colleagues into ways we can identify individuals with exposure to the school environment, it’s important to ensure we do what we can to prevent further spread of the more dangerous mutations which appear to still be sneaking into the country from Europe”. It’s thought that checks will be implemented at border control points to ensure those not eligible to enter the country once the borders reopen are prevented from doing so. So, whilst it appears that most Britons will be able to enjoy trips across Europe and the rest of the world by the summer, the same cannot be said for countries suffering from slow and inconsistent vaccine rollout programmes, particularly those under the authority of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
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