Educators Should Be Treated As Frontliners

The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers was pleased to receive the news of the imminent arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Malta. The union was also informed that the first doses will be administered to specific categories, by appointment, following a notification which will be received via conventional mail.  

The categories mentioned as being prioritised for this first batch of vaccines are the frontliners, our law enforcement officials and the elderly. The union urges the government to consider our educators as frontliners at this point in time, given the large number of people they are being exposed to on a daily basis, thus substantially increasing the risk of contracting and spreading the virus involuntarily. 

The numerous cases found in schools over the past months and the consequent periods of self-isolation, or quarantine, our educators have been having to face, have been burdening our educators both in terms of work and syllabi requiring to be completed within a stipulated timeframe, as well as psychologically as a result of the anxiety, stress, and strain in these uncertain times. 

Allowing our educators the possibility to receive the non-mandatory vaccination would reduce the risk of having schools understaffed, or functioning haphazardly, due to sporadic outbreaks, or individual cases, amongst educators. It would also guarantee peace of mind to our educators, who have been working relentlessly to ensure that the high-quality education our children deserve, is delivered despite the pandemic, and all the unexpected events that have been accompanying it since March.