RIGA - For education to resume in classrooms this September, at least 80 percent of teachers should be vaccinated against Covid-19, Education and Science Minister Anita Muizniece (New Conservative Party) said in an interview with Latvian Television on Monday.
The minister said that 53 percent of teachers, including 41 percent preschool teachers, 56 percent of teachers in general education and 74 percent of teaching staff in higher education, had been vaccinated by June 30.
"I believe that it is possible to achieve the maximum vaccine uptake among teachers by September. We have prepared proposals on how to motivate the undecided teachers. This is explanatory work, because everyone must realize that it is paramount to ensure in-person education process this fall," the minister said.
However, asked if vaccination against Covid-19 should be made mandatory for teachers, the minster did not give a direct answer but said that employees in the education sector are taking the jabs more actively, especially given that the vaccination of teachers was only started in April. "We will therefore choose mandatory vaccination as a last resort if we feel that the vaccination rate among teachers is dropping substantially," the minister said.
The Education and Science Ministry considers organizing an educational campaign, involving epidemiologists and immunologists, to answer teachers' questions about Covid-19 vaccines and address their concerns.