Compulsory vaccination endangers the functioning of schools, teachers’ organizations say


A growing number of professionals fear that compulsory vaccination could have devastating consequences on the functioning of several schools, pointing out that while the overall vaccination rate of teachers is high, there are large differences between regions. Meanwhile, there is a double standard since private and denominational schools are exempt from compulsory inoculation.

Public education workers have until December 15 to receive their first dose of a covid vaccine. If they don’t, they will receive a missed vaccination catch-up notice within 15 days, giving them until the end of December. Those who still refuse to be vaccinated will now be put on unpaid leave. Their employment contract can be terminated after one year.

President of the National Chamber of Teachers: “The situation is worrying”

The Speaker of the National Chamber of Teachers (NPK) fears that those who have refused to be vaccinated so far are likely to persist in not doing so. And that naturally indicates a cause for concern, says Péter Horváth, to explain this

there will be schools and kindergartens, and more than one, where they will be virtually unable to perform their duties if some teachers drop out of the system. Although the national average [of vaccination] is very high among teachers, it is not uniform across the region, with a few places only around 50-60%.

NepszavaThe information seems to confirm a similar trend. In an anonymous school in a rural town, around 20 of 70 teachers have yet to be vaccinated, raising the school principal’s fear for the school’s operation, according to the left-wing newspaper.

The same goes for the PSZ teachers’ union, whose president estimates that around 10% of teachers still need to be vaccinated. For his part, the vice-president of the union estimates that the proportion of those who refuse vaccination will be around 3 to 5%, a rate still equivalent to thousands of teaching professionals.

Double standards

While vaccination is compulsory in public institutions, this is not the case in those run by the church or private schools (where the head of the institution may have the final say).

According to the president of the PSZ, one of the dangers is that teachers refusing to be vaccinated could well move to these schools instead. “This triggers a migration which is not at all good for the system during the school year because it upsets the schedule already in place, which is very bad for the children,” said Zsuzsa Szabó.

Is the department still considering revoking the bill?

Two weeks ago, the Teachers’ Union (PSZ) and the Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ) reported, after several hours of negotiations with the Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI), that the government had promised to consider the revocation of the invoice. A few days later, the ministry denied having even thought about this scenario.

However, according to the latest news, this is still on the agenda. According to some sources, the government will resume relevant discussions with the unions on November 18.


Salary negotiations are also underway. But unions believe the government’s 10% proposal is “unacceptable” and “humiliating”. So don’t expect a solution anytime soon.

featured image illustration via Zsolt Szigetváry / MTI


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