EDITED: Schools should have been opened this week for partial or full faace-to-face classes but the option of continued online classes was chosen instead. This may have averted a crisis because a number of workers in the schools have chosen not to be vaccinated despite them being designated FRONTLINE workers. The Government’s requirement that all frontline workers be vaccinated has met with some resistance among teachers, civil servants, nurses, and policemen.
Experience has taught us that the benefit of taking the vaccine for the coronavirus disease is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. The strengthening of the immune system gives the human body this advantage in fighting the COVID-19 disease.
Because the virus will be here with us for the long term, we need to adopt measures that will allow us to cope with it. Vaccination is the main weapon against this virus.
The emergence of more virulent and deadly strains has made our response more challenging.
It appears that the young are less susceptible to coming down with the disease.
Because of this, having the adults on any given school compound fully vaccinated will give them a certain level of protection. The vaccine is now available to secondary school students and by next term, it should be available to primary school students.
Some small schools can organize small classes to allow for face-to-face classes to begin while observing the maximum class size of 10 for adequate social distance in the average size classroom. This, together with wearing of masks, sanitization, and adequate ventilation can allow us to reopen these schools.
Laying off workers who are not vaccinated would create a crisis of loss of talents, expertise, and experience. Allowing these same workers to stay on the job will expose them to the Corona virus with the knowledge that some of them will become very ill, be hospitalized and die. Even though this may be 5 or 10 %, this avoidable loss will be regrettable and cause much grief among those who will mourn.
The benefit of the vaccine far outweighs the few who may have adverse reactions. In any case, we should follow the best available advice from the medical authorities especially our family physicians. It should not be necessary for us to experience the crisis of death in the family for us to make the right decision.