some teachers in Albania feel reluctant to get a dose
After various European countries suspended use of the vaccine on health grounds, some teachers in Albania feel reluctant to get a dose, union says.
Teachers’ unions in Albanian say their members are worried about taking the AstraZeneca anti-Covid vaccine after 13 European countries suspended use of the vaccine pending a ruling by the EU regulator.
The vaccination process for teachers in Albania started two days ago, and union leaders have told BIRN about their unease.
“Teachers have been looking forward to vaccinating, but the moment of the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine coincided with health problems being manifested in some countries, which have now suspended the vaccine,” Nevrus Kaptelli, president of the Independent Education Union of Albania, told BIRN.
Teachers, along with health workers and the elderly have been prioritized by Albania’s government for vaccination.
“Based on the information in the media, a considerable number of teachers have hesitated to take this vaccine,” Kaptelli added.
Amid growing worries about its safety in Europe, Prime Minister Edi Rama on Thursday reminded people that vaccination is voluntary. “Vaccines are voluntary and not compulsory, so it is normal to have some hesitation,” Rama said.
The Independent Education Union of Albania has asked the Health Ministry, the government and a committee of experts to clarify the situation and explain any health problems that the vaccine might cause.
The union has also proposed “termination of the vaccinating process at schools and gyms”, saying vaccination should only be done “with the approval of the family doctor, who, after studying the health card of everyone, should be responsible for their health condition after their vaccination”.
The union says vaccination of teachers should be done at the health centres near where they live, and vaccination of teachers whose doctors have not recommended it postponed.
Since national vaccination started in January in Albania, according to the Ministry of Health, over 34,000 jabs have been given to health workers, the elderly and teachers