Teacher doesn't want to go back to school even after getting vaccine

A teacher says she doesn’t want to return to school even after getting her Covid vaccine in the coming days. Francesca Alvarez worries she could still transmit Covid to others – including her vulnerable elderly mother who previously battled the virus – even if the injection protects her from suffering a severe Covid infection.

Alvarez, an elementary school teacher from Portland in Oregon, said: ‘(My mother) barely made it, it is a miracle she’s surviving and we know that if you’ve had Covid you can get it again.

‘I want to be in the classroom, I don’t like teaching this virtual way, but my mantra — my belief — is if we survive we can teach later on, we can learn, we can narrow the achievement gap.’

She added: ‘We are talking about human beings we’re not talking about objects. Especially at my school there are a lot of families of color and we know the families of color are higher risk of getting Covid because they’re frontline workers, they’re essential workers.’

Alvarez and other teachers in Portland currently teaching virtually are due to have their vaccine in the coming weeks.

Officials there hope that by giving teachers the shots, they will be able to re-open schools for in-person learning, allowing parents who are home-schooling their kids to return to work.

Alvarez concedes that many of the families most vulnerable to Covid also rely on schools so they can go to work to feed their families.

Early data suggests people who have been vaccinated against Covid cannot pass the virus on, although scientists have yet to offer definitive proof that this is the case.

Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill highlighted how other types of vaccines that prevent recipients from getting sick also stop diseases from being passed on.

Alvarez, who teaches Spanish-speaking students, added that it will be ‘torture’ to impose mask-wearing and social-distancing rules on her young students.

She told KOIN: ‘We go back to school and students still need to keep the six feet of distance and wear their masks.

‘They’re little kids and they’re dying to be near their classmates and they don’t understand, so my biggest concern is how am I going to keep them safe at school.’

The US has now recorded 24.6million Covid cases, and more than 410,000 deaths.

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