‘The children we work with are the most vulnerable in society’

Jesslyn Henry, a special needs assistant (SNA) in a Dublin secondary school, says she and her colleagues work with the most vulnerable children in society and need to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

She wants to see SNAs reprioritised for vaccination following a change to the vaccine rollout schedule, which saw the timetable shift to one based primarily on age rather than occupation.

“ It’s about trying to keep them safe, as well as ourselves,” she says. “I know for myself, the worst thing imaginable for me is that I would go into school and pass something on to one of the children I work with.”

Many of these children and teenagers cannot wear masks because they have sensory issues or medical conditions, she says.

“The virus could easily be passed on. The Government keep telling us that children and young people aren’t impacted by the virus… but the young men and women I work with, because of their medical conditions, they would be very seriously impacted.”

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