ROME — Dozens of Italian teachers called in sick Monday after getting inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus over the weekend in Treviso, northern Italy, local media report.
Students in two area middle schools were sent home an hour earlier than usual due to insufficient teaching staff. At the Duca degli Abruzzi high school, 15 teachers out of 130 were absent, complaining of fever, malaise, and pain in the bones.
In a local primary school, San Domenico Savio, two out of three teachers called in sick with similar complaints of aggravated side effects from the vaccine that had left them incapacitated.
Now there is talk of some schools being forced to close for lack of teachers, the Tribuna di Treviso reports Monday, since “dozens and dozens” of local teachers find themselves unable to report for work.
The Italian daily Oggi Treviso reported on Sunday that 3,000 teachers had been inoculated on Saturday and another 2,500 were scheduled to receive the vaccine before the end of the weekend. All the teachers inoculated against the coronavirus were under 55 years of age and all received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The vaccination campaign in Treviso is part of a nationwide program offering free coronavirus shots for Italy’s teachers between the ages of 18 and 55.
Late last week, the Duchess Elisabeth Hospital in Braunschweig, Germany, suspended its AstraZeneca vaccination program until further notice after 37 of its 88 vaccinated employees wound up confined to bed and unable to work because of side effects similar to those complained of in Treviso.
A Swedish region temporarily suspended vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine in mid-February because more people than expected reported suffering from a fever after receiving the shot. Vaccinations with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine were also halted at two locations in Lower Saxony after complaints from clinic employees about side effects.
A recent study found that while the Moderna and Pfizer/Biontech vaccines have an effectiveness of 94 and 95 percent respectively, the effectiveness of AstraZeneca is 76 percent after the first vaccination and up to 82 percent after the second. Other studies have determined its effectiveness at around 70 percent.