Great News For Teachers in Texas-You’re Now Eligible For COVID Vaccine
If you’re in Texas and a teacher or employed at a school until today, you weren’t eligible for the COVID vaccine-unless you fell into the 1B category. Yesterday, President Biden announced he wants all teachers to have the COVID vaccine by the end of March. With his direction to the states, teachers, child care workers, staff, bus drivers, etc. can now qualify for a Covid-19 vaccine in Texas.
“Today, I’m using the full authority of the federal government; I’m directing every state to do the same,” Biden said. “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.”
In many other states teachers were already at the front of the line based on CDC recommendations, but each state has handled prioritization differently. According to the CDC recommendations, teachers were to be second in line right behind health-care workers and those in nursing homes and other senior settings.
From DSHS Press Release: The Texas Department of State Health Services today notified all vaccine providers that they should immediately include school and child care workers in vaccine administration.
Last night, DSHS received a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directing states to expand eligibility to include people who work in school and child care operations. The federal directive defined the people eligible as “those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.”
This action does not change the other groups prioritized for vaccination in Texas. Providers are encouraged to continue their efforts to vaccinate older adults since the burden of COVID-19 falls most severely on people age 65 and older.
TEA Says Masks Policies Up To School District
For many teachers concerned about the lifting of the statewide mask mandate this news comes as a relief, now they must scramble to get on a list and find available vaccination appointments. More good news came today from the TEA, as they announced “public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy.”