The three weeks without school did not allow education personnel to be massively immunized. Or little more than the rest of the population. On April 15, Prime Minister Jean Castex had nevertheless included them, alongside the police, among the “Professionals considered to be more exposed to the virus”, promising to their “Facilitate vaccination”. A confirmation of the “Specific strategy” for “All the most exposed professions”, announced at the end of March by Emmanuel Macron. But a few days before the gradual return to class, professionals do not feel they have privileged access to syringes.
→ LIVE. Jean Castex press conference: follow the new announcements on the Covid
Vaccination slots have been well reserved for them since April 17. But intended for 55 years and over, they do not really derogate from the device applicable to all French people. “It’s an announcement effect: the vaccination of people over 55 was already open to the entire population five days earlier”, recalls Guislaine David, Secretary General Snuipp-FSU. In the first stage, it assesses at 13% the share of personnel potentially affected by the measure, “A start of vaccination, therefore, but not an acceleration”.
“We are very far from prioritization”
The modalities of recourse to the reserved slots would have also cooled several teachers. “Some teachers did not receive the message to access it, others discovered that the vaccination center concerned in their region was not very close to their home”, reports Frédérique Rolet, general secretary of Snes-FSU. The French teacher regrets the “Lack of ambition” an operation that would target, in total, only 200,000 people, or 17% of the 1.14 million personnel identified by the National Education. “We are very far from prioritization”, breathes the representative.
If it is not possible in the state to know the share of vaccinated professionals, we can argue that it is much lower than the proportion of French people having a first dose: 19.43%, on April 20. Asked about the vaccine strategy and the limits noted by the unions, the Ministry of National Education and the General Directorate of Health (DGS) did not answer our questions.
In addition to the age threshold, the vaccination of teachers would also suffer from the reference most often proposed: AstraZeneca. The Anglo-Swedish product suffers from a deteriorated image due to suspicions of serious side effects. “The teachers are like the others: they would really like to be vaccinated but would prefer to be vaccinated with another type of product”, deplores Guislaine David.
“We need staff who do not get sick”
The three weeks of closure of the establishments will therefore not have allowed vaccination to ramp up among those who work there. Yet it was the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in the classes that had forced the government to suspend – reluctantly – classes. The latest situation report from the Ministry of National Education, published on April 2, reported 229 school structures and 11,272 classes closed due to Covid-19. 28,738 students and 2,771 staff – out of more than 850,000 – had been diagnosed positive during the last week.