In the struggle between scientists who recommend the immediate reopening of schools that remain closed and teachers’ unions that refuse, new voices have been added, such as that of a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Richard Besser, who warns about the importance of children being able to return to classroom education regardless of the fact that teachers are not yet vaccinated.
Besser joined the long list of scientists and studies that speak of the immediate need for children and adolescents to return to school, both to maintain their educational level and for their mental health.
In an interview with “Your World,” on Fox News, he assured that by using some preventive measures, schools could reopen normally even if teachers have not yet been vaccinated against the CCP Virus.
Dr. Richard Besser said teachers don’t need vaccine for schools to reopen
Besser also said that teachers should be in the group called “frontline workers” in order to have priority in receiving the vaccine, although not having it should not be a reason for not starting work, especially considering that most teachers are not in the age range considered at risk.
“I think teachers should be in the group of frontline workers who are given vaccines early, but you don’t need to have that to be able to open up schools very safely,” Besser said.
Besser also rejected arguments used by teachers’ unions about the “high chance of contracting the virus” from their own students. Besser stated that while the possibility always exists, the chances of contracting the CCP Virus are even much lower than a common flu. He added that proper use of masks and identification of symptoms by staff will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of children and adults.
Some teachers’ unions refusing to allow schools to reopen
While most educational establishments have reopened, many schools have not yet been able to do so due some teachers’ unions refusing.
One of the most popular cases is that of Chicago union leaders who continue to fight to prevent the return to the classroom. They argue that city officials have not implemented adequate measures to ensure their safety. One of the union’s demands is to vaccinate staff.
Current CDC Director Rochelle Walensky agreed with Besser that vaccination is not necessary to ensure the safety of teachers and children.
“Teacher vaccination is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools,” she said during a White House briefing on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
A week earlier, Walensky also asserted that there is no scientific case for keeping educational institutions closed and cited new studies to back that up.
“The CDC continues to recommend that K-12 schools be the last setting to close after all other mitigation measures have been employed and the first to reopen,” Walensky said at a press conference.
Walensky went on to say that the data they are working on collected from operating schools, summer camps, and other venues where children and adolescents participate ensure that not only do they have decreased rates of symptoms, but also that transmissibility rates are low.