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Back to school 2021, a health protocol still in question



And the start of the school year? While the number of new cases of Covid-19 continues to increase, and especially among young people, the prospect of a return to school disrupted by the epidemic is beginning to worry the teaching world. “More than a year and a half after the start of the crisis, we still do not anticipate sufficiently”, laments Sophie Vénétitay, general secretary of the national union of secondary teachers (Snes).

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“We are working on the development of a document which provides for several scenarios”, responds the Ministry of Education. Without waiting for the health protocol that will frame the return to classrooms and lecture halls, Jean Castex has ruled out the hypothesis of using the health pass in schools. “Our entire strategy since the start of the crisis (…) consisted of the children being educated as much as possible. (…) We are not going to say now, if you are not vaccinated, especially since some can not do anything about it, we will deprive you of school ”,he declared on July 21 on TF1.

Vaccinate students in their school

The idea of ​​making the vaccination of teachers compulsory was also rejected. Questioned on this subject in mid-July at the National Assembly, Jean-Michel Blanquer relied on studies from Public Health France which mention that “Teachers are a category less contaminated than the average of the population”. According to figures provided by the Ministry of Education in The cross, approximately 70% of teachers would have received at least a first dose of vaccine, which would place them at least 10 points above the French average. From April 17, vaccination was facilitated, via priority slots, for teachers over 55 years old. On TF1, Jean Castex described the vaccination rate of teaching staff as “Satisfactory”.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister wishes “To put the package in the colleges and in the high schools”, by vaccinating directly in schools. The latest figures from the Ministry of Health report that only 20.5% of 12-17 year olds have started a vaccination course. A perspective greeted by Carole Pourvendier, general secretary of Snics-Fsu, the school nurses union … while specifying that her profession should not be “Requisitioned” for that. “Since the start of the crisis, the health of young people has deteriorated, she recalls. If we vaccinate, we will no longer be able to meet their other needs. “

A detailed health protocol

Like her, Jean Klein, national secretary of the National Education Management Staff Union (Snup-DEN), hopes that the vaccination will be done with the help of regional health agencies. “The question of the premises must be raised, he observes. Few of the establishments have a permanent room available for the vaccination of pupils. “

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Beyond the vaccination campaign, there is also the question of other measures that can be put in place to limit the circulation of the virus. For now, the education ministry says “Favor room ventilation rather than the purchase of air purifiers and CO sensors2, which depends on local authorities ”. What Sophie Vénétitay deplores: “There are many classrooms whose windows do not open”, she points out, adding that if he is “Interesting to propose a plan with several scenarios, it will also be essential to give clear thresholds to allow schools, colleges and high schools to switch from one protocol to another”.

The strategy is no different at university. On July 9, Frédérique Vidal recalled her wish for a return to “100% face-to-face” if the vaccination rate allows it, and added having the ambition to deploy (…) with the support of regional health agencies, mobile teams [de vaccination] in establishments “.

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The pediatric community supports adolescent vaccination

The National Professional Pediatric Council has spoken, Friday July 23, in favor of the vaccination of adolescents against Covid-19. The risk-benefit balance is judged “Favorable” given the greater contagiousness of the Delta variant, the increase in the proportion of infected adolescents and “The low frequency of reported side effects”, after 7.5 million 12-18 year olds received two doses of the vaccine in the United States.

However, pediatricians remind that the responsibility of adults is to protect the young. She calls for “Vaccination of all adults”.

For children under 12, in the absence of a study, “Vaccination is not possible for several months”, adds the National Professional Pediatric Council.

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