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Schools and Covid 19 (part 5) **Mod warnings in OP**

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  • TheDriver wrote: »
    There appears to be no support for teachers, SNAs, Gardai etc getting the vaccine as a priority. We keep hearing that as you get to under 55, there's little risk of consequences of covid.
    so why can't everyone under 55 go back to workplaces? If Govt says we are not at risk in packed school buildings, fairly full school buses etc, why can't we open Penney's, open constructions, open gyms, let teams train? They are saying there is minimal risk so talk the talk and lower restrictions.

    Sure let the Government lead the way and come back into the Dáil en masse. We'll know it's safe then.




  • Sure let the Government lead the way and come back into the Dáil en masse. We'll know it's safe then.

    Ha fat chance, the lying feckers will use us a Guinea pigs first




  • Beasty wrote: »
    No one says there is no risk in a school environment. However if a 25yo teacher is 70 times less likely to die from this disease if caught are you suggesting that 25yo teacher is more than 70 times more likely to catch the virus?

    No-one says there is no risk of covid. The risks increase with age. Put all under 55s back to work and the risk of them spreading it further (particularly the higher risk over 55s) increases. It really is common sense

    I see about 100 students a day in enclosed spaces for an hour at a time. I actually teach subjects that generally don't have massive numbers at senior cycle so many teachers would see more. So one person working from home only exposed to anyone outside their family for short periods of time could easily be at 70times less risk. Over a week I'd be in contact with 180 students in a classroom setting. Numbers work both ways.

    Again, I'm not actually against the age based approach but it's a decision. Outside of healthcare settings the highest cases globally have shown up in education settings, closing them has the biggest effect on r values. The reality is the science is too new to be sure what the correct approach is exactly, with quick vaccination it's probably a moot point but to say it's backed by science and that's it is not the whole picture. We couldnt logistically do what other countries with high vaccination rates managed despite being a tiny country and that swayed the decision.

    If we are all done by the end of the summer it'll be grand, if not let's hope numbers are really low going back. With our staff numbers isolating or infected over the last few months the only reason kids could be taught every day was because it was remote. I'm fully expecting us to put two full time jobs up this summer and get 0 applicants.......again.

    I'm genuinely concerned bout staffing going forward anyway. Maybe the correct decision is to vaccinate by age, here's hoping supply keeps increasing but SETs and SNAs on special schools should have been done. I'm already in awe of the level.of personal risk many of them have taken over the last while and their risk factor and the risk to the children they teach is extremely high. I'd be interested in the numbers on those settings from a illness perspective, of the kids and the adults.




  • Survey of teachers and the effect of remote learning on students.
    More than 90 per cent of secondary school teachers say some students have disengaged as a result of the move to remote teaching and learning, according to a new survey.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/teachers-believe-remote-learning-has-led-some-students-to-disengage-1.4529509




  • is_that_so wrote: »

    Yet if they go with vaccination of teachers first, lockdown will last longer as it leaves older people more exposed to covid with a greater risk than a 35 year old teacher.


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  • Yet if they go with vaccination of teachers first, lockdown will last longer as it leaves older people more exposed to covid with a greater risk than a 35 year old teacher.

    There seems to be huge confusion around this my understanding is teachers are not looking to be prioritised over the elderly or those with underlying conditions but to be part of the cohort vaccinated in group 9.

    At this stage I don’t care either way I’m fed up to the back teeth of it.

    However I can’t help feeling that those baying for blood re the arrogant teachers trying to skip the vac queue ala the annual ASTI strike thread currently on the go on boards will be the exact same posters slating teachers for rolling school closures next year if the age vac roll out doesn’t proceed as quickly as hoped for.




  • They can cacoon though and kids mental health is in shreds and I know we've lost several kids from education that we will never get back, and the lives they are in now will kill them. Your always making a decision, there's no right answer unless you can see into the future and maybe not even then as there are so many variables. I think you can argue both sides, you just have to hope the government has thought through the unintended consequences along with the obvious ones.

    The reality is different groups of politicians and scientists in different countries have made different decisions.........if there is empirical, holistic, data backing one or the other fully then this wouldn't be the case.

    I'm not even sure what I would do if it was up to me, honestly I'm glad it isn't.




  • I've got to admit, I am with the teachers on the vaccine priority issue.

    You can cut statistics anyway that you like. Of course a 30 year old is less likely to suffer seriously with covid then a 65 year old. But can we say that a 30 year old teacher is more likely to catch covid than the general cohort of 30 year olds nationwide? I haven't seen any statistics on this, but I would have to assume that it would hold true.

    So put it this way. Say you've got a general 5% chance of catching covid as a 30 year old in the general population. Of that 5% cohort, only 10% will be hospitalised, so 0.5%.

    Say you are a 65 year old in the general population. You still only have a 5% chance of catching covid, but you have 30% chance of being hospitalised, so 1.5%.

    But say you are three times more likely to catch covid as a teacher. Kids might be less likely to catch or spread covid, but you are in an enclosed environment - and in primary, unmasked - environment for five hours a day. It's not an outlandish theory. So a 15% chance of catching covid, and as a 30 year old you have a 10% chance of being hospitalised. That means, as a 30 year old teacher, you have 1.5% chance of being hospitalised with covid, the same as a 65 year old.

    Now I have plucked those statistics out of the air, because they don't seem to publish the chances of catching covid by profession, nor the chances of being hospitalised by age. But you can see a scenario where teachers, by virtue of their profession, would have a much higher chance of suffering seriously from covid than their contemporaries of the same age. It is conceivably true that their chance of suffering seriously from covid is the same as some of the older and higher priority cohorts. If I was a teacher, or a union rep, I would want to see the numbers (which the HSE/HSPC surely have) of hospitalised or long covid teachers to really assess what the higher chance might be.




  • Is there any point in vaccinating teachers? All of April will be spent vaccinating the over 70s. It will be May before teachers could potentially be vaccinated at which stage the school will year will nearly be finishing up?




  • Is there any point in vaccinating teachers? All of April will be spent vaccinating the over 70s. It will be May before teachers could potentially be vaccinated at which stage the school will year will nearly be finishing up?

    This is a very good point. By the time we would have got to teachers on the old list, it would have been end May/start of June (at the earliest). The immunity from the first dose would have actually kicked in until secondary teachers were on their first week of holidays, and primary teachers would only have had a week or two left.

    With the new list, it may be June or July before they get their first dose.

    I guess there is some consternation that we would still have the supply issues that we have had up until now, and there is a risk that some teachers might not get their second dose of Pfizer until well after the September school year starts. If I was a union rep I would be looking at the worst case scenario, and negotiating based on that.

    In reality though, it is highly likely that all teachers will have their first dose by July, and their second dose before the new school year starts.


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  • Why should teachers be elevated amongst all other key-workers? Will the cleaners who look after your schools, and potentially come into contact with the students be included? Key worker is a spiralling argument?

    And if they were to yield to the argument, it will be a fortnight before it can be organised. That takes us into May. The second dose would then be given by the end of May. The vaccine will only be effective by the end of June? Is the ASTI proposing to stay in school over the summer to help their students to catch up with missed school? Or will it not be a case that the teachers are on holidays?




  • BettyS wrote: »
    Why should teachers be elevated amongst all other key-workers? Will the cleaners who look after your schools, and potentially come into contact with the students be included? Key worker is a spiralling argument?

    And if they were to yield to the argument, it will be a fortnight before it can be organised. That takes us into May. The second dose would then be given by the end of May. The vaccine will only be effective by the end of June? Is the ASTI proposing to stay in school over the summer to help their students to catch up with missed school? Or will it not be a case that the teachers are on holidays?

    Some teachers will be on holidays, some not. July provision, Deis school camps, the Leaving Cert all take place after schools close for the academic year.

    I'm not defending ASTI just pointing out that some teachers would benefit from being vaccinated as they will still be working during June/July. I've made my own views clear.




  • JDD wrote: »
    I've got to admit, I am with the teachers on the vaccine priority issue.

    You can cut statistics anyway that you like. Of course a 30 year old is less likely to suffer seriously with covid then a 65 year old. But can we say that a 30 year old teacher is more likely to catch covid than the general cohort of 30 year olds nationwide? I haven't seen any statistics on this, but I would have to assume that it would hold true.

    So put it this way. Say you've got a general 5% chance of catching covid as a 30 year old in the general population. Of that 5% cohort, only 10% will be hospitalised, so 0.5%.

    Say you are a 65 year old in the general population. You still only have a 5% chance of catching covid, but you have 30% chance of being hospitalised, so 1.5%.

    But say you are three times more likely to catch covid as a teacher. Kids might be less likely to catch or spread covid, but you are in an enclosed environment - and in primary, unmasked - environment for five hours a day. It's not an outlandish theory. So a 15% chance of catching covid, and as a 30 year old you have a 10% chance of being hospitalised. That means, as a 30 year old teacher, you have 1.5% chance of being hospitalised with covid, the same as a 65 year old.

    Now I have plucked those statistics out of the air, because they don't seem to publish the chances of catching covid by profession, nor the chances of being hospitalised by age. But you can see a scenario where teachers, by virtue of their profession, would have a much higher chance of suffering seriously from covid than their contemporaries of the same age. It is conceivably true that their chance of suffering seriously from covid is the same as some of the older and higher priority cohorts. If I was a teacher, or a union rep, I would want to see the numbers (which the HSE/HSPC surely have) of hospitalised or long covid teachers to really assess what the higher chance might be.

    All the data so far has shown that schools are not a risky environment for SARS-COV2 to be passed between individuals, giving a vaccine to a teacher over an older person who isn't a teacher is ethically wrong, it's very hard for anyone to side with the teachers based on the facts.




  • See an EMA official has said there is a clear link between AZ and blood clotting. This is gonna have a huge knock on to vaccination across Europe.




  • astrofool wrote: »
    All the data so far has shown that schools are not a risky environment for SARS-COV2 to be passed between individuals, giving a vaccine to a teacher over an older person who isn't a teacher is ethically wrong, it's very hard for anyone to side with the teachers based on the facts.

    See this I have to take with a pinch of salt. We have a subpar contact tracing system, which only traces back two days worth of contacts before your symptoms start, when in fact it is likely you caught the virus between 5 and 10 days before symptoms start. So we really have no idea which locations are more risky than others. It's the same argument used by pubs, restaurants and gyms - "the statistics show that very little infection was caught in a pub/restaurant/gym environment, so we should be allowed to reopen" when the reality is that we don't do contact tracing properly so we actually have no idea where infections start.

    So I can't put much weight on the "studies show that schools are not risky". The only real empirical evidence to show whether schools are riskier or not would be to compare the number of infections of teachers within a certain age category, as compared to the same age category in general in the population. And they don't publish that information.

    EDIT: Now, it may turn out that teachers are no more at risk than the public at large, due to the fact that children are less likely to catch the virus, and less likely to spread it. If that is the case, then teachers have no evidential reason to back up their wish to be prioritised.




  • JDD wrote: »
    See this I have to take with a pinch of salt. We have a subpar contact tracing system, which only traces back two days worth of contacts before your symptoms start, when in fact it is likely you caught the virus between 5 and 10 days before symptoms start. So we really have no idea which locations are more risky than others. It's the same argument used by pubs, restaurants and gyms - "the statistics show that very little infection was caught in a pub/restaurant/gym environment, so we should be allowed to reopen" when the reality is that we don't do contact tracing properly so we actually have no idea where infections start.

    So I can't put much weight on the "studies show that schools are not risky". The only real empirical evidence to show whether schools are riskier or not would be to compare the number of infections of teachers within a certain age category, as compared to the same age category in general in the population. And they don't publish that information.

    EDIT: Now, it may turn out that teachers are no more at risk than the public at large, due to the fact that children are less likely to catch the virus, and less likely to spread it. If that is the case, then teachers have no evidential reason to back up their wish to be prioritised.

    Sure, if there is evidence that vaccinating a teacher will save more lives than vaccinating an older person (who also may be a teacher), then it can be re-evaluated, but there is no evidence that this is the case so far. The science has been pretty clear that the person with the greatest risk is consistently the older person regardless of profession or where they work, and rollout should follow the science.




  • astrofool wrote: »
    Sure, if there is evidence that vaccinating a teacher will save more lives than vaccinating an older person (who also may be a teacher), then it can be re-evaluated, but there is no evidence that this is the case so far. The science has been pretty clear that the person with the greatest risk is consistently the older person regardless of profession or where they work, and rollout should follow the science.

    I agree that if you are looking at bare numbers, the older cohort are clearly more at risk. But as I say, there are different ways to cut the numbers.

    I don't think the death rate should be the only measure used. I think hospitalisations should be given equal weighting. If our lockdowns are to prevent hospitals being overrun, then our vaccination programme should be skewed towards prioritising those cohorts of people that are more likely to be hospitalised.

    I think the old list was fairer. It gave equal weight to the idea that if you were over 70 you should be vaccinated first, along with HCW which was the profession with by far the highest level of infections. It's not that HCWs were overrunning the hospitals with admissions, it was the fact that so many of them were getting mildly ill that they had to stay out of work, thus grinding down the gears of the health system. It is one example of where age was not a factor in prioritisation.

    I don't see why, once you get to the 18-65 cohort that you should not prioritise the professions most at risk of contracting the virus, rather than going by age downwards. Surely vaccinating all the frontline workers - teachers, gardai, ambulance drivers, meat factory workers etc, will decrease hospitalisations faster because they are the professions most likely to catch the disease? I know it was a bit more complicated, but it made sense and seemed fairer to me than say prioritising a 55 year old accountant working from home over the 35 year old teacher or ambulance driver.




  • astrofool wrote: »
    Sure, if there is evidence that vaccinating a teacher will save more lives than vaccinating an older person (who also may be a teacher), then it can be re-evaluated, but there is no evidence that this is the case so far. The science has been pretty clear that the person with the greatest risk is consistently the older person regardless of profession or where they work, and rollout should follow the science.

    The evidence was there months ago that vaccinating by age was the best approach.

    I posted this on February 22nd.
    Its around 3.6 million adults.

    But we dont need to vaccinate all of these.

    We only need to concentrate on everyone over 65 which is 700k.

    Out of the current deaths 92% of them are in this age group 3780 out of 4109.

    We should just throw all our vaccines at this age group and not have tiers at all. I would even argue about vaccinating health care workers first.

    If we did this we could have all those over 65s done in 5 weeks @150,000 per week.

    Deaths and hospitalizations would drop like stone and we could reopen completely within this time.


    Looks like I was right.

    Currently as of today we have 4718 deaths - 4341 over 65s and 377 under 65s- How many of these are in the teaching profession - how many are in other professions that should be vaccinated before teachers?


    My own opinion- the government are right in going whole hog by age. Fastest and quickest way to get us out of this lockdown.




  • Schools closed for 11 days now and case numbers steadily start to drop off! Who'd have thunk it!




  • JP100 wrote: »
    Schools closed for 11 days now and case numbers steadily start to drop off! Who'd have thunk it!

    There is more cases today than this day last week.


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  • Hellrazer wrote: »
    My own opinion- the government are right in going whole hog by age. Fastest and quickest way to get us out of this lockdown.
    Indeed. Teachers are not frontline workers. Vaccinating them as a matter of priority doesn't act to protect the vulnerable. Therefore there's no primary benefit to prioritising them.

    There may be a secondary benefit because they're in more contact with others, but it has to be asked is the cost worth it?

    If it was possible that the HSE said that they would land into a state-funded school on a given day, inject all the staff and leave again, I'd say that's cool, let's do that.

    But we all know that wouldn't fly. The unions would insist on "discussing" it. Looking to have the schools closed that day, and a paid in-service day for all of the teachers. They'd demand that substitute teachers not be included and teachers on maternity leave or career breaks come in to get their injections instead. That schools draw up internal priority lists so the most senior staff get their injections first.
    And so on. And they take weeks to "negotiate" these points, before balloting members to come back with an answer.

    And by the time the unions got their fingers out of their arses and said, "Come on in", it would be mid-July and the teachers would all be vaccinated anyway.

    Age-based rollout cuts out the bullsh1t and ensures the most vulnerable are covered earliest.




  • There is more cases today than this day last week.

    Very little point comparing one day last week to one day this week when we know that case numbers have been steadily decreasing with positivity rates dropping and inspite of an increase in testing. 7 day number of cases and positivity rates decreasing and that trend is what matters and not some ridiculous notion of comparing random days of the week to each other in order to suit your own personal narrative.




  • I would really be embarrassed for our professsion if we chose to strike over this




  • It's no mere coincidence that some of the very same posters who wanted schools to remain open at all costs and regularly shouted that teachers should be made to go in to schools and irrespective of case numbers and positivity rates - are now also the same posters who do not want school staff to retain the place they were originally given in the vaccine rollout! Chip, shoulder and agenda are all words that spring to mind here!




  • JP100 wrote: »
    It's no mere coincidence that some of the very same posters who wanted schools to remain open at all costs and regularly shouted that teachers should be made to go in to schools and irrespective of case numbers and positivity rates - are now also the same posters who do not want school staff to retain the place they were originally given in the vaccine rollout! Chip, shoulder and agenda are all words that spring to mind here!

    Chip , Shoulder and Agenda works both ways in this discussion.




  • Schools should not be open. The suppression and distortion of information regarding infection rates serves the interest of corporations which want all parents back at work.
    "A study conducted in Virginia [below], published to the medRxiv.org preprint server for health sciences on January 31, 2021, looked at the number of children infected with COVID-19. Over 10 weeks during the first half of the pandemic, researchers found that children had antibodies to the coronavirus at twice the adults’ rate. More than 65 percent never showed any symptoms. Dr. Rebecca Levorson, Division Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Inova Children’s Hospital, said, “I think children have been a silent bearer of infection. They have more mild symptoms so they may not go and get tested because they don’t have a high-grade fever. So, we just really didn’t know that children had COVID to such an extent.”"

    SARS-CoV-2 Seroepidemiology in Children and Adolescents
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.28.21250466v1




  • Hellrazer wrote: »
    Chip , Shoulder and Agenda works both ways in this discussion.

    There is an obvious and well expressed anti teacher sentiment on boards.ie backed up by numerous threads where any issue relating to teaching and or teachers descends into vitriol re holidays , pay , lazy teachers and pup. In the annual ASTI strike thread alone the entire teaching profession all 60000 + were referred to as parasites and again all 60000 + are involved in illegal activities as apparently not alone does every single teacher give grinds but each and every one of them do so without paying tax. Not forgetting that teachers are arrogant know it alls who expect the entire population to bow down before them. And of course the fact that teachers want to strike for the pay ( not even tongue in cheek - seriously who gets paid to strike )
    Anyone who thinks that ant of the above is not pure teaching bashing is being disingenuous in the extreme.




  • seamus wrote: »
    Indeed. Teachers are not frontline workers. Vaccinating them as a matter of priority doesn't act to protect the vulnerable. Therefore there's no primary benefit to prioritising them.

    There may be a secondary benefit because they're in more contact with others, but it has to be asked is the cost worth it?

    If it was possible that the HSE said that they would land into a state-funded school on a given day, inject all the staff and leave again, I'd say that's cool, let's do that.

    But we all know that wouldn't fly. The unions would insist on "discussing" it. Looking to have the schools closed that day, and a paid in-service day for all of the teachers. They'd demand that substitute teachers not be included and teachers on maternity leave or career breaks come in to get their injections instead. That schools draw up internal priority lists so the most senior staff get their injections first.
    And so on. And they take weeks to "negotiate" these points, before balloting members to come back with an answer.

    And by the time the unions got their fingers out of their arses and said, "Come on in", it would be mid-July and the teachers would all be vaccinated anyway.

    Age-based rollout cuts out the bullsh1t and ensures the most vulnerable are covered earliest.

    You also have to look over at St. Gerards where 20 of them went off to get vaccines based on who the principals rang personally, and they didn't tell their colleagues what was going on, they're their own worst enemy at times.




  • seamus wrote: »

    If it was possible that the HSE said that they would land into a state-funded school on a given day, inject all the staff and leave again, I'd say that's cool, let's do that.

    But we all know that wouldn't fly. The unions would insist on "discussing" it. Looking to have the schools closed that day, and a paid in-service day for all of the teachers. They'd demand that substitute teachers not be included and teachers on maternity leave or career breaks come in to get their injections instead. That schools draw up internal priority lists so the most senior staff get their injections first.
    And so on. And they take weeks to "negotiate" these points, before balloting members to come back with an answer.

    And by the time the unions got their fingers out of their arses and said, "Come on in", it would be mid-July and the teachers would all be vaccinated anyway.

    Nice to see some imaginary scenarios to get rankled about :pac:

    Hse aren't vaccinating anyone in such a makeshift way so I dunno how you'd even dream up such nonsense.

    It's not vaccination centres we're short of last time I had a gawk at the news...


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  • lulublue22 wrote: »
    There seems to be huge confusion around this my understanding is teachers are not looking to be prioritised over the elderly or those with underlying conditions but to be part of the cohort vaccinated in group 9.
    Why on earth would they be excluded?

    All adults, not in cohorts 1 to 8, fall into cohort 9:confused:


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