Biden sends teachers to front of vaccine line
President Biden on Wednesday used the federal government to prioritize vaccinating teachers and child care workers, an effort to get kids back in schools, WashPost reports.
What he's saying: "My challenge to all states, territories and the District of Columbia is this: We want every educator, school staff member, child care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March," Biden said.
- Teachers will have access to vaccines through the federal government's pharmacy program, starting next week.
State of play: Teachers have said they'd be more willing to return for in-person schooling if they first receive a vaccine.
- More than half of the states have already put teachers in a high-priority category.
The other side: Experts generally agree that it's safe to reopen schools regardless of whether teachers have been vaccinated, as long as safety precautions are followed.
- The move was also criticized for putting teachers who are not currently eligible for the vaccine, based on their age or health conditions, above more vulnerable people.
- "This means taking vaccine away from higher-risk persons & communities of color to vaccine young healthy teachers. This is an ANTI-EQUITY move," tweeted Celine Gounder, a member of Biden's transition coronavirus taskforce.