LFA Calls on CDC to Give School Staff Access to Early Vaccine Distribution
Giving teachers and school staff priority access to vaccinations is critical to allowing schools to reopen, LFA writes.
The 11 member associations of the Learning First Alliance have asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow teachers and all school staff priority access to new vaccines for Covid-19. Such a move would allow schools to reopen more safely and help promote public confidence in a vaccine, LFA wrote in a letter sent on November 30, 2020.
"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. "In the pre-K-12 public system we serve more than 50 million children, with more than 5 million teachers, administrators, specialists, and support personnel. As you know, public schools have been struggling to bring students back into the classroom and, in many places, school buildings have had to shut down again as Covid-19 has ravaged our communities, infecting over one million children.
"These shutdowns profoundly affect our families as well as our local economies. Most parents either cannot work, are forced to work and leave children unattended, or are trying to juggle working from home with childcare. We know that student learning has declined, more children are now living in poverty, and too many students are dealing with mental health issues, food and housing insecurity, abuse or neglect, or sickness or death of loved ones. 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."