Norwegian Health Minister: It’s safe for teachers to teach with just one vaccine dose

Bent Høie - Bjørn Guldvog - Gun Peggy Strømstad KnudsenPhoto: Torstein Bøe / NTB

Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie (H) believes that teachers are protected well enough for the start of school. The government plans to have schools operate at the “green” level.

“We have arranged for teachers to be protected with the first dose before school starts. My impression is that many municipalities have implemented this, and thus they are more protected than they would have been otherwise,” Høie told news bureau NTB.

In areas with low infection pressure, the plan is for the schools to open at the “green” level in three weeks. That means that the teaching and the everyday school life will be organized as usual. 

Students should still avoid physical contact and have good hand hygiene, and sick students shouldn’t attend school. Kindergartens and after-school clubs will also initially open up as usual next week.

“Is it necessary for teachers to be fully protected before they receive 30 children in a classroom?” NTB asked the minister.

“No, we think being protected with the first dose is good enough.”

Support from the FHI

Assistant director Gun Peggy Knudsen at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) largely agrees with Høie’s analysis.

“This is a question that is difficult to answer very concretely, but we must take into account that you get good protection from one vaccine dose.”

She added that the vast majority of adults in Norway will be offered the first dose before school starts and that the municipalities have the right to prioritize employees in schools and kindergartens.

In areas with high infection pressure, school is planned to start at the “yellow” level. That means, among other things, that school classes must be treated as cohorts that are not allowed to have contact with other cohorts and that employees must keep a greater distance from the pupils.

On July 14, a report from the FHI showed that 65% of employees in schools and kindergartens had received their first dose of the corona vaccine. 

At that time, 72% of the population over the age of 18 had been vaccinated with at least one dose. The proportion amounted to 80.2% on Wednesday.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation

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