Teachers have renewed calls to be given priority vaccination following the extension of the lockdown in Victoria.
When schools returned in January, Independent Education Union (IEU) organiser for the Riverina Lyn Caton revealed the ambition to have all teachers vaccinated against COVID-19 by the beginning of term 2.
With that deadline now having passed, Ms Caton said it would be ideal to have "teachers, school staff, bus drivers, everyone who will be in contact with hundreds of students a day to be vaccinated as soon as possible".
"The situation in Victoria right now has proven that everyone is vulnerable," she said. "If you have a parent that comes down with something and their child goes to school, the ability to transmit that to a thousand people in a day is uncanny, I don't think that happens in all walks of life."
Since August, the NSW Teachers Federation has been calling for priority to be given to school staff.
The NSWTF is now calling for the profession to be classed among the critical and high risk workers, in order to fast-track the rollout of vaccinations to all those who wish to have one.
"Given our students under 18 are not recommended to receive the COVID vaccine in the current rollout strategy, ensuring the health and safety of all our teachers, students and public school communities will be maximised by teachers being vaccinated as a priority," the spokesperson said.
In light of the situation unfolding across the border, the Victorian president of the Australian Education Union (AEU), Meredith Peace called on the federal government to prioritise education staff.
"We acknowledge that community members who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 must continue to be prioritised, as well as workers in priority groups," Ms Peace said.
"However, there is an immediate need to broaden the eligibility of priority groups to include education staff."
Ahead of the most recent Victorian lockdown, the AEU met with the federal and state health ministers, asking that all workers in schools, kindergartens, TAFE and disability learning services be made a priority group.