The call came as the United States, the country worst hit by the virus, kickstarted the biggest vaccination drive in its history by giving the jab to a nurse in New York.
“As we see positive developments regarding vaccination we believe that teachers and education support personnel must be considered a priority group,” UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in a joint video message with the head of the Education International (EI) teachers’ organisation, David Edwards.
Azoulay and Edwards said when schools and other education facilities were closed to prevent the spread of the virus, “teachers and support personnel remained on the frontline”.
As classes moved online they “reinvented the way we teach, we learn,” they said, adding that when schools reopened, teachers returned “courageously” to the classroom.
Stressing that schools are “irreplaceable” Paris-based UNESCO and Brussels-based EI called for teachers to be among the first in line to be inoculated.
SANTA CLAUS AND MRS CLAUS IMMUNE
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, WHO’s lead on the crisis Maria Van Kerkhove told a press briefing she understood many children were worried about how the virus could impact Father Christmas.
“I understand the concern for Santa because he is of older age,” she said, responding to a journalist’s question about whether the fantasy, gift-bearing figure, known for his grey whiskers and big belly, might not be at heightened risk from Covid.
“I can tell you that Santa Claus is immune to this virus,” said Van Kerkhove, who herself has two young sons.
“We had a brief chat with him, and he is doing very well, and Mrs Claus is doing very well, and they are busy right now,” she said.