Heartfelt appeal for teachers in special schools to get Covid-19 vaccine

The husband of a teacher in a Special School has made a heartfelt appeal for teachers who work in this sector to get their vaccine “as a matter of priority”.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:48 pm

Alliance Councillor for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Danny Donnelly, said: “Staff in Special Schools have been in and working in a high risk position for a long time.

“They are in a position where many of the kids cannot socially distance and cannot wear masks.

“And some of their children present behaviours such as biting and licking things and are in very very close contact with teachers.”

Cllr Donnelly, who works as a nurse, added that many teachers, in the course of their work “perform a lot of medical and healthcare duties on the children because they need to”.

“They are peg feeding some children and are in very close contact which is clearly a high risk environment,” he added.

“There have been promises about getting the teachers vaccinated and so forth, but they have not heard anything concrete about it.

“Really these special schools have been working for a long, long time when everything else has been closed.”

AstraZeneca vaccine.

He added that the special school teachers “should be vaccinated as they are at the same level of risk as someone in the healthcare profession”.

“They need to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their families,” he added.

“I would hope to see the vaccination of all teachers rolled out, but I think Special school teachers are more in need.

“They are in a high risk situation.

“In the job I do I have no less close contact with patients than teachers have with some of their children.”

Cllr Donnelly spoke out as Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson asked Education minister Peter Weir for information on when special needs teachers would be vaccinated.

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