Study finds teachers not at increased risk of hospitalisation due to Covid
Teachers are not at increased risk of hospitalisation due to Covid, a study has found.
The research carried out by Public Health Scotland between March 2020 and July this year looked at hospital admissions for those testing positive for the virus.
The results, which are published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found the profession is not an increased risk when compared with other working-age adults.
The risk during times of school closure and opening was also explored. It varied across the school terms, with a pattern of being lower than the general population when schools were mostly closed, and similar to that of the general population when schools were open.
When schools were largely closed in spring and summer 2020, teachers were 50 per cent less likely than the general population to be admitted to hospital.
However, during the autumn 2020 term, when schools re-opened, teachers’ risk of admission was higher, although still not clearly different to that of the general population.
The study also found there to be good levels of vaccine uptake among teachers. This likely contributed to reducing the risk of hospitalisation in the summer 2021 term as the risk during this time also did not show a clear difference to that of the general population.
Dr Lynda Fenton, a consultant in public health at Public Health Scotland, said: “Education is central to allow all children and young people to realise their potential, and teachers are a critical part of this.
“By carrying out this study, we have obtained a better understanding of the risks for teachers since the start of the pandemic. These findings contribute to the knowledge needed when making decisions about how to deliver education in these challenging times.
“While we were only able to look at the risk for teachers, it’s also important to consider other education staff when informing decision-making.
That’s why Public Health Scotland are currently looking into repeating this research for Early Learning and Childcare staff and would welcome collaborations with other staff groups.”
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that a third vaccine dose will be given to the most vulnerable.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said that those who are severely immunosuppressed will receive a third jab in the coming weeks.
Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said: “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to follow the expert advice from the JCVI and in line with their most recent guidance, people aged 12 years and over who are currently severely immunosuppressed will now be offered a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, subject to their clinician’s medical advice.
“The advice is that a third primary dose should be given at least 8 weeks after the second dose, though the exact timing will be decided by the clinicians involved in each patient’s care as they will need to consider their current clinical conditions due to their underlying disease and any treatments the individual is receiving.
“Work is underway to ensure this third dose is offered to these patients as soon as possible.”