Queensland teachers want to be included as a priority workforce group in the national rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Queensland Teachers’ Union president Cresta Richardson says teachers and principals were considered essential workers when it came to lockdown restrictions last year, but do not have the same classification when it comes to the vaccines.

The federal health department’s three priority groups for the rollout are those at increased risk of exposure (including frontline workers), those with an increased risk of developing severe disease or outcomes from COVID 19 (such as the elderly), and those working in critical social services.

Ms Richardson says teachers should be given priority for the vaccine, as they are critical to keeping schools open for the children of other essential workers.

“It's important for health officers and officials to see us as a priority workforce group and for teachers and school leaders,” she said.

“Our view is that we should be seen as a priority, as a workforce group, within the vaccination rollout list, alongside other frontline workers.”

The union says it will continue advocating, but the Federal Government says any such decision will have to come from the Australian technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).