24.08.2021 change 24.08.2021

School children should return to school and university students should get vaccinated, says disease expert

Professor Magdalena Marczyńska. Credit: PAP/Tomasz Gzell Professor Magdalena Marczyńska. Credit: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Pre-school children should return to school on September 1 because the vast majority of them only have mild COVID-19 infections, says an expert on infectious diseases in childhood from the Medical University of Warsaw.

Pre-school children should return to school on September 1 because the vast majority of them only have mild COVID-19 infections, says an expert on infectious diseases in childhood from the Medical University of Warsaw. 

But she added that it is a bit different with older students who should get vaccinated.

Professor Magdalena Marczyńska who advises the government as part of the Medical Council activities said: “My opinion on in-person school education has not changed. It is necessary for the development of children, so they should return to school on September 1. 

“In the vast majority of cases, children have mild COVID-19 infections, so there is no health risk here. Young people's losses related to the lack of classical education are huge, so the decision in this particular case seems simple. 

Of course, teachers and school staff, as conscious people, should vaccinate.”

She added that when to comes to university students “I believe that they should get vaccinated, just like academic staff. Remember that many lecturers at universities and polytechnics are people over 55 or 60. 

“Therefore, young people - students - cannot expect that these people will risk their health for them. As conscious citizens, of whom we require more, if only because of their education, both groups should get vaccinated.

“In order for students to be able to come into contact with patients, many of them with immunodeficiency, their vaccination is a must.”

She continued that if it were up to her, both schools and universities should introduce mandatory vaccinations for staff.

She said: “Ensuring the safety of people from risk groups, over 55-60 years of age, should be the basic minimum. But in my opinion, an administrative obligation for students would have the opposite effect, so it is important to convince such people individually. 

“This week, I myself encouraged four undecided people to vaccinate. Primary care physicians should be involved as much as possible, and the effects of such action will be visible.” (PAP)

author: Tomasz Więcławski

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