Lancashire health chiefs explain why county's teachers are "not a priority" for vaccines
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On Sunday (February 14), speaking to Sky News, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government was "committed" to opening schools in just three weeks' time.
"That’s what we’re aiming for and that’s what we’re committed to," he said.
It has led to concerns from some teachers who say they should be offered Covid-19 vaccines before being asked to return to the classroom.
But Lancashire health bosses have told teachers and early years practitioners that they will not be eligible for the vaccine ahead of the lockdown on schools being lifted.
In an official statement to teachers, the county's Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) said teachers will not be prioritised due to a shortage in supply of vaccines.
Because of the shortage, the only workers currently being offered jabs are those in frontline health and adult social care who are dealing directly with older adults - those most at risk of dying from Covid-19 due to their age.
This is the full statement from health care bosses to Lancashire's teachers
A CCG spokesman said: "Please be assured that the essential service you are all providing during this ongoing pandemic is vital and appreciated.
"However, at this time you are not yet eligible for the covid-19 vaccination.
"As you will be aware the vaccine supply remains constrained and we must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable. Vulnerability to serious illness and death is extremely strongly linked to advancing age.
"The national Covid-19 Vaccination Booking System has opened up to frontline health and adult social care staff. These staff are eligible to help protect the older person receiving care from transmission from their worker.
"Those who provide direct care to the highest risk groups are being prioritised.
"Current evidence strongly indicates that the single greatest risk of mortality from COVID-19 is increasing age and that the risk increases exponentially with age. National evidence indicates that the optimal strategy for minimising future deaths is to offer vaccination to older age groups first.
"We are not yet able to offer vaccination to critical workforces who do not work directly with older adults.
"At this time those who work with children and young people - including teachers and early years practitioners - are not eligible for the vaccination and we ask that they be patient and wait until they are invited.
"Please do not book an appointment at the large-scale vaccination centres as you will be turned away.
"Anyone who books one of these appointments will need to show a valid work ID when arriving for their appointment and if they are unable to do so they will be turned away.
"Please do not book an appointment if you are not eligible to do so as it will waste the appointment and waste an opportunity for an older person to receive the vaccine."