Coronavirus: Israel launches campaign to vaccinate educational staff

The Education Ministry announced Sunday the launching of a campaign to vaccinate the country’s teachers and other educational staff, including secretaries, aides and counselors.Educators and school staff were contacted via their principals on Sunday about the opportunity to get jabbed. Educational staff that is interested must express consent and their names and details will be turned over to the Health Ministry and health funds. The funds will then proactively contact them to set an appointment.Priority is first being given to those who are expected to teach during the lockdown: Special education teachers and staff, and those that work with at-risk youth or in boarding schools. It is expected that teachers will begin getting inoculated as early as Wednesday.The Teachers’ Union had said that if teachers were not vaccinated it would strike and educators not return to their classrooms after the lockdown. Education Minister Yoav Gallant had stressed the importance of inoculated teachers and said it was part of the deal for his agreeing to close schools for two weeks.Israel launched a massive vaccination campaign three weeks ago, already vaccinating close to two million people. At first there was concern that there would not be enough vaccinations to provide two doses to each of Israel’s 200,000 educators and still have enough to give second doses to all the people who received dose one in the previous weeks. However, the new deal with Pfizer has increased the number of available vaccines. Some 700,000 doses arrived in Israel on Sunday.

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