New NEU information tool to encourage critical-thinking on COVID-19 vaccines

20 May 2021

The COVID 19 outbreak is a public health crisis quite different than anything Europe has faced for many years. As education personnel and their trade unions grapple with the outbreak, we are supporting and informing member organisations in any way we can.

© Stephen Hawking Foundation

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The UK National Education Union (NEU) published a new information tool titled Are Vaccines Safe?” providing clarity about common concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. The aim of the resource is to provide scientific information, enlighten and encourage critical thinking, with respect to COVID-19 vaccines. It comes at a highly relevant moment where the risk of circulation of fake news creates confusion, scepticism, and uncertainty.

The resource has been developed by a member of the NEU, Ed Stubbs, together with the Stephen Hawking Foundation, the Morpeth School in East London, Queen Mary University of London and the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Designed with the help of school-age students, teachers, scientists, science communicators and community representatives, the information tool provides accurate and up-to-date scientific information portrayed in a clear and accessible way.

The tool is designed with an interactive structure, providing many opportunities for users to reflect on their feelings, doubts and fears. It provides scientific evidence to tackle several common questions related to the vaccines such as how they work, their possible side-effects; and clarifies their monitoring and development process. While the tool is only available in English, the content is universally relevant in providing accurate information and clarity concerning vaccines. Further advice and information about COVID-19 in the education sector can be found on the NEU Recovery Education Hub.

COVID-19 vaccination remains a crucial concern for education trade unions across Europe. Indeed, according to the recent ETUCE study on “Occupational health and safety in times of COVID-19” education personnel in 47% of countries taking part in the ETUCE study do not have priority access to vaccines. ETUCE stands in support of its member organisations advocating for teachers and other education personnel to be a key target of national vaccination campaigns. The latest updates about COVID-19 good practices from ETUCE member organisations can be found on ETUCE’s COVID-19 hub.

Read More:

Latest Updates on COVID-19 good practices

Study on vaccination of teachers by ETUCE