SCHOOLCHILDREN in Ireland who haven't been vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be excluded from education when classes return in September, it's been confirmed.
There will also be no segregation of vaccinated and unvaccinated students either.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said on Monday that "there is no intention that any child would be excluded from education on the basis they have not received a vaccine."
They revealed that very high-risk students with underlying medical conditions will "continue to be provided with adapted education provision,"while unvaccinated teachers are expected to return to work unless they are deemed very high risk.
From Thursday anyone over the age of 12 can apply for a Covid-19 vaccine, though many parents are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before deciding to immunise their children, leaving schools with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated pupils.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan also told Health Minister Stephen Donnelly there should be no segregation or stigmatisation of children based on vaccination status.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland last month, Minister Donnelly said it was "ethical and right" to protect children and society from coronavirus, but that it was up to parents to decide if their child should be vaccinated.
"Ultimately, the consent and the permission comes from the parents, they will always do what's right for their child and a lot of parents now, I think, are really welcoming of this news and they're looking forward to getting their children vaccinated," he said.