When will the first vaccinations for teachers in France be due? At the end of January, was the first response from the ministry. Last week was March, then finally April. And now, “This will necessarily take place during the first semester”, said Jean-Michel Blanquer, Sunday January 10, on RTL. Which can therefore take us until June, just before… school holidays. But, rest assured, the Minister of National Education immediately clarified, since “The main vaccination criterion remains that of age (…), when we arrive at that of the working population, teachers will be among the first concerned”.
With this kind of statement, you have to comment on the text. “Among the first concerned” : we can understand that teachers will be given priority. Or stop on this “Among”, which means on the contrary that they will not benefit from a particular order of priority. In short, as the secretary general of the SE-Unsa union, Stéphane Crochet, remarks, in 20 minutes : “Of course, teachers do not have more priority than cashiers, who meet a lot of people, but we should speed up the pace for everyone. “Otherwise, the first vaccinated teachers will either be retired or on vacation. This could seriously jeopardize the effectiveness of the school vaccination policy. Admittedly, these procrastination can have the same causes as those which explain the French delays in vaccination in the general population: insufficient purchases and deliveries of vaccines, lagging logistics and a lack of medical personnel.
Far from the million announced, only 10,000 tests have been carried out
But, in national education, these concerns could be reinforced by internal causes, as shown by the precedent of screening. Thus, still on January 10, the Minister trumpeted the objective of “A million tests”this month. Problem: on the date he was speaking, only 10,000 tests, according to the ministry itself, had actually been carried out. Worse: he had already proclaimed the same objective … in November 2020. Since then, the only real massive testing campaigns in schools have been carried out at the initiative of local communities.
The reasons for this failure of the screening can be sought on the side of volunteering, which remains weak: fear of students vis-à-vis the test procedure itself, fear of staff to be detected positive and having to isolate themselves , therefore to be absent and penalize his students for lack of replacements. But the essential cause is rather in the lack of personnel: more than ever essential to monitor the health of the students, undermined on all levels by the confinement, the school nurses are hardly available for the tests. And it is not the 900 or so school doctors (for 12.5 million students) who can assume this burden. The staff provided by the ARS or associations clearly did not make it possible to fill this gap. And we do not see by what miracle it would be otherwise for vaccination, even more complex to implement.
But, for Jean-Michel Blanquer, it doesn’t matter. Continuing to disseminate contamination figures in schools so false that they are contradicted by those of Public Health France, unaware that the new variants of the virus could affect young people more strongly, the minister is braced on his “miracle protocol »To refuse en bloc the postponement of the specialty baccalaureate exams (scheduled for March) or adjustments to the programs to make up for the delays. He just concedes that the resumption in face-to-face in high schools may not take place on January 20, as planned. Enough to greatly increase the tension in the establishments, where the day of interprofessional strike of January 26 is already actively preparing …