Saturday, May 15

The rectors beg for 200,000 vaccinations for university professors in the face of Darias’s refusal


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The Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) has sent a letter for the second consecutive time to the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, in which he asks him to vaccinate university professors as is done with those in schools.

In this second letter the president of the CRUE, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos insists, given the refusal of Darias, on the need to include the teaching and research faculty and the administration and services staff of the universities within the groups that are receiving the vaccine in these first months of the year.

The first request, as reported by ABC, was made at the beginning of February and was asked not only to Darias, but also to the Minister of Universities, Manuel Castells. In fact, academic sources assure that the first formal request to the minister was made last January. In March they insisted again and in neither of the two attempts were successful. For her part, the minister has refused the first request of the CRUE saying that classes can be held online and that there is a strategy that establishes prioritization criteria and population groups, explain academic sources (in fact, the latter was also answered to the PP in a parliamentary question addressed to the Government).

In the letter, to which ABC has had access and which has been sent to all the rectors, the president of the CRUE appeals and quotes the letter itself Health Vaccination Strategy, which indicates that Primary, Secondary, infant and special education teachers are part (along with Police, Civil Guards, Firemen …) of those «active groups with an essential function for society, developing its activity with face-to-face character, at least part of the day. The president of the CRUE defends that university professors are also part of this group.

Thus, he points out that «lThe risks of severe morbidity and mortality, exposure, socioeconomic impact and feasibility of the university community are very similar to those faced by other teachers in the educational system.

Remember that «throughout this course, Universities have not only maintained presence in practices and laboratoriesInstead, we have extended it whenever possible to the rest of the classes, seeking to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the student body.

Finally, remember that the evaluation stage of the course and the Selectividad will begin soon, both in person. «Vaccinate the near two hundred thousand people who are part of our staff it would further increase campus security and would not imply a significant increase in the doses expected in this new stage or a notable logistical complication ».

Health arguments

In the first version of the Vaccination Strategy, dated December 2, 2020, it is already clear that the front-line teachers are those of infant, primary, secondary and high school education (those of vocational and university training remain).

Health argues that the teaching staff of infant, primary, secondary and high school «are at high risk of exposure and transmission (especially those who work with the youngest children in kindergartens and early childhood education, who have closer contact) and, furthermore, because of the ethical and legal requirement to protect the right to education of children and adolescents and their free development of personality, protecting the health of teachers and PAS ».

It is also added that the prioritization of teachers and PAS is based on the fact that, by protecting them, not only the health of children and adolescents is protected, «but also, and fundamentally, their right to education, which is a substantial element of full development of the personality and of the formation in democracy and that, therefore, must be developed, necessarily, in the classroom ».

On the other hand, «in the field of university and professional training, prioritization may not be so relevant, because protection can be obtained through synchronous online, digital or bimodal training (except workshops or practices), not being so required, from an ethical-legal perspective, the presence and, therefore, the vaccination of teachers and PAS at said educational levels».

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