“Our own Australian data confirms that COVID-19 is a mild illness in children, that the few hospital admissions are short-lived, and that the overwhelming majority of children recover from the virus with no side effects.
“There is no medical reason for classroom teaching to be suspended until vaccination of 5-11 year olds, although all children should be given access as soon as possible.”
The letter was written by child health experts David Isaacs and Fiona Russell and psychiatry expert Professor Pat McGorry, along with 31 other health professionals, academics and prominent Australians as signatories.
They argue that delaying school “severely disadvantages the least privileged and causes unnecessary fear and harm”.
“Delay in returning to face-to-face learning puts children’s mental health at risk and increases the risk of child abuse, obesity, and delayed social and emotional development,” they write.
“The lifelong effects of this are unknown. These issues are more difficult to quantify than COVID-19 case numbers, but they are just as real and require a higher priority given their importance in securing a healthy and prosperous future for communities. “
Queensland schools will continue to open to the children of important workers.
While a minority of teachers will not be able to return to class due to their refusal to get vaccinated, the government fears that other than new cases or close contacts may be caught in the Omicron wave.
Source: | This article originally belongs to smh.com.au