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Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tells "Axios on HBO" that states should prioritize teachers for vaccinations as part of reopening schools for in-person learning.

Between the lines: Weingarten declined to say whom teachers should be prioritized over.

  • "If we are saying that prioritizing in-person learning is important, the teachers and the bus drivers that are working in places that are reopening should be prioritized," she said.
  • In previous statements, Weingarten said teachers should be vaccinated alongside others in the 1-B priority group.

AFT is the country's second largest teachers union, representing 1.7 million members in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

  • Last September, Weingarten told Axios that she'd support a requirement that teachers be vaccinated before returning to classrooms.
  • She later walked that back, arguing that while she supports vaccination, she also recognizes that some teachers have been scared off by misinformation.
  • According to a recent survey, 67% of AFT teachers said they've either been vaccinated already or plan to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Sixteen percent says they either don't plan to get vaccinated or aren't yet sure.

Editor's note: This story has been updated add Weingarten's prior statements that teachers should be vaccinated in the 1-B priority group.

Go deeper

Feb 20, 2021 - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews AFT President Randi Weingarten

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO", Axios business editor Dan Primack interviews American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, February 21 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.