Vaccinations – the key to successfully managing our way out of the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, every action of the NSW Teachers Federation has been informed by our responsibility to protect, as far as possible, the health and safety of our members and our school communities. Respectful of science and health advice, at all times we have insisted on the consistent applications of health advice and restrictions across ALL settings, including schools, in affected areas.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said noting the highly contagious, transmissible and dangerous Delta variant  and the substantial risk posed to unvaccinated populations, the Federation recognises that vaccinations are key to successfully managing our way out of the pandemic.

“Whilst governments rightly point to the importance of returning to face-to-face teaching and learning, this can only happen when it is safe to do so,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“The Federation has repeatedly advised government of our preparedness to engage constructively in the development of a road map for the return to face-to-face teaching and learning.”

“Critical to the development and successful implementation of any return to school plan must be the prioritisation of ALL teachers and staff in the vaccination rollout. Regrettably, with the exception of teachers and other staff in the three lockdown LGAs of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury Bankstown, teachers continue to experience barriers to vaccination arising from a lack of access and supply.”

“Further, noting the disturbing growing transmission and infection rates amongst school age students, the government must develop and implement a vaccination rollout plan for students. This is essential for the safety and well-being for our school communities as a whole.”

“Noting persistent vaccination hesitancy, arising primarily from initial regrettable government messaging and irresponsible vaccine misinformation on social media, the Federation is ready to support and promote public education campaigns aimed at increasing vaccination rates including, in partnership with the Department of Education, direct communication with parents and caregivers should that be required.”

“The Federation encourages all members to avail themselves of any opportunity, following consultation with one’s GP as appropriate, to be vaccinated while we continue to pursue the vaccination prioritisation of teachers and all staff, and other measures necessary for the safe return to face-to-face teaching and learning.”