An advisory panel for the CDC said that teachers should be next in line to receive the covid vaccines. Some states also want to push for the vaccination of teachers as a way to speed up the reopening of schools. However, experts are of the opinion that this is unlikely to happen in the current school year due to delay in the rollout of vaccines across the nation.
CDC Says Teachers Should Be Next In Line To Receive Covid Vaccine
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that school teachers and staff along with people over the age of 65 would be given priority with regards to receiving the vaccine after health care workers. They planned to reopen classrooms by March 1. More than 70% of students in Ohio are in remote learning, and schools are using a combination of in-person and virtual classes for students.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey also announced recently that teachers would be among the essential workers who will get the first doses in Arizona. He said that schools and teachers need to be protected in this situation so that classrooms can be started in a regular way. The state authorities said that they plan to vaccinate the educators by Late January or early February.
Fauci also said that there would be an increase in momentum with regards to the vaccination program in January. He hoped that by summer, most people would be able to receive the vaccines. As of now, about 2.5 million people have been vaccinated, and the federal government has distributed nearly 12 million doses of vaccines. The federal government is distributing both Pfizer as well as Moderna vaccines to the states.
There are delays in terms of distribution, and many states have reported that they have received fewer doses than expected in the first phase of vaccination. Considering the shortage, experts feel that teachers may not be able to get vaccinated in January, and the program is likely to get started only in February.
The delay is likely to impact the reopening of schools in the near term, and the schools are also headed into the holiday break. It is not yet clear how this will pan out in the future, and authorities hope that teachers should be given preference so that schools can be safely reopened at the earliest for in-person classes.
Phase 1b will also include essential workers from the police department and other workers apart from teachers and child care workers. Some people feel that schools can be reopened even before teachers are vaccinated as schools have never been a primary place for transmission.
States like Arizona and Ohio have made it a priority to reopen schools in March and bring students back to school. The authorities feel that as long as students are following social distancing guidelines and using masks, there is no need to worry about getting infected.
However, few parents feel that relaxing the quarantine guidelines and starting in-person classes can increase the number of covid cases in the community. Some parents are still not comfortable with sending their kids to in-person classes, and they are more comfortable with online classes, especially for young children.
Even though covid 19 has not affected young children in a big way, there is still a huge risk that this may lead to a surge in new cases in the near future once schools get back to regular classes. As children may not have high levels of immunity, it can be difficult to treat them if they catch an infection. Apart from that, the vaccines are still not available for children, and covid vaccine manufacturers have not included children in their clinical trials. In future, they are likely to test the vaccines on young children.