Prevention of covid-19 in back to school depends on the school community

Fiocruz reaffirms the importance of face-to-face activities in schools

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) released on Friday (24) a technical note reaffirming the importance of maintaining face-to-face classes, safeguarding the removal of positive cases and respiratory symptoms. Fiocruz reaffirms the importance of face-to-face activities in schools

The Working Group emphasizes that it is necessary to have tests for covid-19 in the school community and recommends that priority be given to vaccination (booster doses) for education workers.

Also according to the document, “situations identified as diseases associated with covid-19 should be referred to primary health care teams, linked to basic health units. The researchers emphasize that schools are safe and essential equipment, as they promote and protect health.”

According to the researchers, “after all this time of living with periods of greater or lesser transmission of Sars-CoV-2, it can be said that face-to-face activities in schools have not been associated with events of greater transmission of the virus”.

According to the GT, “the detection of cases in schools does not necessarily mean that transmission occurred in schools. Most cases are acquired in the territories and taken to the school environment. In this sense, current experience, proven by relevant scientific studies, reveals limited spread of covid-19 in schools”.

The document informs that on June 21, Brazil had 77.8% of the total population with a complete vaccination cycle and 85.5% for the eligible population over 5 years old. However, only 46% with a full cycle (all booster doses) of the total population and 55% of the vaccinable population with a booster over 12 years.

In the age group between 5 and 11 years old, there are 13,056,571 (63.69%) of children with the first dose and only 7,967,345 (38.86%) with the second dose, numbers below what is necessary for a complete collective immunization. .

According to the researchers, this information reveals a greater risk for hospitalization, severity and death related to those not fully vaccinated.

The note says that, due to the characteristics of the disease, the pattern of dissemination in different age groups and the effects of vaccination, it is possible to say that transmission from workers to workers is more frequent than transmission from students to workers, workers to students or students to students.

Therefore, the researchers advise, protective measures should be adopted in all school environments, with prioritization of strategies aimed at reducing transmission between workers (for example: living spaces and emphasis on tracking cases and contacts).

The document recalls that the control of the pandemic resulted, in 2022, in the full resumption of face-to-face activities in schools, noting the pedagogical and psychosocial consequences and losses of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, it is imperative to seek to rebuild school routines and their pedagogical projects. The note states that, at the current epidemiological moment, further interruptions of school activities are not recommended.

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