Teachers should be vaccinated before schools reopen, top virologist argues

22 February 2021, 17:27

By Sam Sholli

Teachers should be vaccinated before schools reopen on March 8, top virologist Dr Chris Smith has told LBC.

Dr Smith made the point in response to Boris Johnson announcing his "roadmap" out of lockdown, which he said struck "a more optimistic tone".

The Prime Minister laid out four steps to lifting restrictions in England, after weeks of the nation facing a third lockdown to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

All schools are set to reopen on March 8 under the Prime Minister's plan and secondary school children will be told to wear face masks in schools corridors and classrooms.

Dr Smith told LBC's Eddie Mair: "I have in the past said I do think that, given that there aren't that many teachers in the UK in terms of as a proportion of the population and given how many people we are vaccinating per day, it wouldn't actually be that difficult to just do the whole lot in one go and get ourselves classroom-ready for 8 March.

"I'm slightly surprised that hasn't been done. The flip side of this coin is...if you look at the data there isn't actually evidence to support the fact that teaching as a profession places people at a higher risk of succumbing to coronavirus."

However, after laying out both sides to the argument, Dr Smith confirmed that he is in favour of teachers being vaccinated before schools reopen next month.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson today also confirmed that pubs and restaurants will be permitted to open outdoors no earlier than April 12.

He also said that indoor hospitality will be allowed to open no earlier than May 17.

More Eddie Mair

'Scotland is inept': Scottish caller furious over idea of IndyRef 2

'Scotland is inept': Scottish caller outraged at idea of IndyRef 2

Texas Republican: Ensuring doors work properly will stop school shootings

Texas Republican: Ensuring doors work properly will stop school shootings

'You don't need a crystal ball!': Furious Eddie Mair corners Tory MP on cost of living crisis

'You don't need a crystal ball!': Furious Eddie Mair corners Tory MP on cost of living crisis

Exclusive
Kremlin chaos: Putin 'constantly surrounded by doctors' as illness throws regime in disarray

Putin 'constantly surrounded by doctors' as illness throws Kremlin into chaos

Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

Jack Monroe slams Tory MP's 'abhorrent' food bank comments

Jack Monroe slams Tory MP's 'abhorrent' food bank comments

Tory MP accuses peer of 'hyperbole' over anti-protest bill concerns

Tory MP accuses peer of 'hyperbole' over anti-protest bill concerns

'Prime Minister in waiting!' Starmer saluted after Covid fine resignation pledge

'Prime Minister in waiting!' Starmer saluted after Covid fine resignation pledge

From Covid infection to being fined: Eddie Mair's painstaking timeline on partygate and Boris

From Covid infection to the fine: Eddie Mair's painstaking timeline on partygate and Boris

Partygate fines: Eddie Mair grills Tory MP Sir Roger Gale over PM future

Partygate fines: Eddie Mair grills Tory MP over PM's future

'He set the rules and broke them!' Eddie Mair's tense clash with caller defending PM

'He set the rules and broke them!' Eddie Mair's tense clash with caller defending PM

Sir David Amess' murderer achieved 'absolutely nothing', campaigner declares

Sir David Amess' murderer achieved 'absolutely nothing', campaigner declares

Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

Eddie Mair is to retire from broadcasting later this year

Eddie Mair to retire from broadcasting

Mariupol resident shares harrowing account of Russia's barbaric siege

Mariupol resident shares harrowing account of Putin's barbaric siege

Putin's negotiators 'becoming softer' in peace talks, Zelenskyy advisor reveals

Putin's negotiators 'becoming softer' in peace talks, Zelenskyy advisor reveals