Advocates want teachers to get the coronavirus vaccine first

There is a growing demand for teachers to be the first inoculators when the coronavirus vaccine becomes available.

The president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association in Florida said members of her union welcome the vaccine, despite fighting the school to reopen this summer.

“Each teacher wants to go to the classroom,” said Wendidromal, a union representing more than 14,000 teachers in the suburbs of Orlando. “Of course, some may be skeptical, but the majority will want to be vaccinated.”

Current distribution plans for the coronavirus vaccine prioritize many of the 18 million US healthcare professionals at the forefront of the fight against the virus. However, advocacy groups and unions say that approximately 4 million teachers in the country should be in the next line of vaccines.

“Schools are needed to maintain core social functions,” Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, with 1.7 million members, said in a statement.

At least three pharmaceutical companies have reported successful vaccine development this month, and distribution could begin later this year or early next year.

Health ethicists usually say that authorities need to first inoculate the most important health care workers and vulnerable Americans, such as the elderly and those with chronic health problems.

The 75-page plan, titled “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provisional Playbook for Jurisdiction,” announced at the end of last month, states that “The US government’s goal is sufficient COVID-19 for everyone in the United States. Vaccination. I was vaccinated. “

However, the plan states that “supply may be limited.” That is, the vaccine is first distributed to those who are “essential to the response”, those who are at the highest risk of serious illness with COVID-19, and those who “provide and maintain direct care”. Social function. “

In the United States, children account for just over 7% of COVID-19 cases, but only 2% of infected people are ill enough to require hospitalization, according to a study published this month in pediatrics.

Still, from New York City to Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the largest teachers’ union in the United States is putting a brake on plans to reopen schools because of concerns about vulnerable workers.

Last month, a teachers’ union in Fairfax County, Virginia, opposed face-to-face learning to community members until many criteria were set, including “widely available scientifically proven vaccines or highly effective treatments.” I urged you to do it.

Health agencies in some states also argue that teachers should be at the forefront of the vaccine line. In a blueprint released by Idaho health officials, teachers are listed as “other essential workers” who should be vaccinated as soon as possible, along with police, firefighters and prison workers.

However, given the historical abuse of medical research, some groups are skeptical about vaccination. On Monday, a nonpartisan advertising council said that only one-third of Americans would be “definitely” vaccinated, and only 14% of blacks believed the vaccine was safe. Announced.

Still, the cost of virtual learning can be too high. According to a summer survey by the education and research nonprofit NWEA, students began this fall with 37% to 50% of typical advances in mathematics. Upon reading, the students showed about two-thirds of the profits they would normally make.

Dromal says that 4,300 students and teachers in Orange County have been quarantined this year since the Florida education authorities ordered them to resume face-to-face learning. She said many teachers lived with older parents and fought for more social distance rules. But the discussion about vaccines is “not yet on the table,” she said.

“We wanted more COVID tests,” Dromal said. “Here, the number of cases is increasing rapidly.”

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Advocates want teachers to get the coronavirus vaccine first

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