U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Education organizations want teachers and school staff to be given priority for Covid-19 vaccine

Dec. 2, 2020
The Learning First Alliance says getting school staff vaccinated is critical to fully reopening the nation's schools.

A group of education organizations is asking for teachers and all school staff to be given priority access to new vaccines that are being developed to combat Covid-19.

The Learning First Alliance, a coalition of 11 organizations, made the request in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Giving such access to educators would enable schools to reopen more safely and help promote public confidence in a vaccine, the alliance says.

The alliance says that giving adults in the school system priority access to vaccinations is a critical step in a full reopening of U.S. schools

"Specifically, we ask that you include school personnel, including teachers, specialist instructional support personnel, aides, food service and custodial workers, and principals—as a priority group for administration of the vaccines for the suppression of Covid-19," the letter states.

"Our students need to come back to school safely, educators want to welcome them back, and no one should have to risk their health to make this a reality."

Making school staff early recipients of a Covid-19 vaccine could help the public at large accept it as safe.

"The education community could be a 'trusted messenger’ to help ease anxieties," the letter says.

"If school personnel could be vaccinated early in the process, school buildings could even serve as vaccination centers for the general public.... This could help a vaccination program reach its goals more quickly and effectively. "

The associations that make up the alliance are AASA, the School Superintendents Association;  American Federation of Teachers;  American School Counselor Association; CoSN - Consortium for School Networking; Learning Forward; National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Association of Secondary Principals; National Education Association; National PTA; National School Boards Association; and National School Public Relations Association.

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