Gavin Williamson stated that teachers are a top priority for the next phase of the vaccine roll out.
But why is this important?
Tom Barnett, teacher and member of National Education Union (NEU), believes the vaccine is vital in schools reopening safely.
He said, “The government are constantly really trying to convince people that schools are a safe place because the children aren’t affected as much by COVID.
“But of course, it’s not just children in schools, it’s teachers as well.
“If you want the schools to be open, get the staff vaccinated.”
Teachers getting vaccinated comes after an online petition that received almost 480,000 signatures.
The people previously on the prioritised list include care home residents, vulnerable adults, the over-80s, frontline medical and healthcare workers.
Barnett gave an analogy, suggesting teachers should have received the vaccine earlier:
“It’s like telling a baby: don’t stick your hand in the fire, it’s your own fault if you get burnt.
“Well no, just remove the child or put up a grate in front of the fire so the child can’t get to it.”
Barnett doesn’t personally believe the government are taking the vaccination of public sector workers, in general, as seriously as they should.
He said, “My friend is in the police service.
He’s arresting people who aren’t wearing masks, who have got COVID and are going around in public.
The police aren’t getting priority vaccinated.”
Why is it important teachers get the vaccine?
Mrs Janine Elmrabti, a teacher at Swanbourne House in Buckinghamshire, said she had yet to find a teacher that has stuck to the social distancing measures as it is impossible when teaching children.
She said, “We’ve been forgotten as teachers.
“As a teacher you are susceptible to picking it up quickly.”
Teachers are mixing with many students each day.
This makes it easy for pupils to pass COVID onto teachers and vice versa.
Data released by the Department of Education said: the rate of COVID infection is 1.9 times higher amongst primary and secondary teachers than the general population.
Read about how special schools are coping during the pandemic:
Revealed: The challenges facing a Dorset special school during the pandemic