Minister of Health, Marta Temido, has stated that teachers and non-teaching staff could potentially be included as priorities for a vaccination against Covid-19, considering that schools are an “essential service” in the country.

“When we talk about essential services - and schools are in some way, in a social approach, an essential service - it may make sense that adults who work in these places have a differentiated vaccination,” said Marta Temido in an interview with Jornal da Noite on SIC.

“When we look around us and see what the processes of easing lockdowns are in other countries, we see the very intense presence of two realities: vaccination and testing”, stressed Marta Temido, adding that the opinion of experts “is quite comprehensive in relation to the various options that can be taken.

“This is one of the difficulties that we have even had in communication: the fact that there is a variety of opinions on the same subject, which makes the decision process very difficult”, admitted the minister.

Temido continued to state that “it is natural” that the process of easing lockdown, which will be publicly presented by the Government on the 11 March, “will start with the first years of schools”, but stressed that this is still “a hypothesis”.

“At this moment, we consider that, just as schools were the spaces that we sought to maintain open for as long as possible, we must also seek to protect these establishments because they are essential in terms of education and their effect on the future of the population. Schools will be our main concern as soon as we can start reopening the country,” she said.

Recently, the National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof) defended screening and diagnostic tests in schools, including low-risk contacts, and the vaccination of teachers even before the resumption of face-to-face activities, giving priority to those who are currently undertaking face-to-face teaching.