As vaccine supplies improve and states plan how to reopen schools safely, President Joe Biden calls for early vaccinations for teachers and staff.
CNBC: President Joe Biden Urges States To Vaccinate Teachers, School Staff This Month
President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged states to prioritize vaccinating teachers and school staff against Covid-19, with the goal of administering at least one shot to every educator and staff member across the country by the end of March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously urged states to prioritize the vaccination of teachers, but some public health specialists criticized the agency for not making vaccination a prerequisite for reopening K-12 schools. (Feuer, 3/2)
Reuters: Biden Calls On States To Prioritize Vaccinations For Teachers
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Biden’s announcement was “great news for everyone who wants in-school learning.” Biden, whose new education secretary took office on Tuesday, said increased production of the three vaccines would boost what he called a “national imperative” to reopen U.S. schools given growing mental health concerns and widening disparities caused by the challenges of remote learning. (Shalal, 3/2)
NPR: Biden Says U.S. Will Have Vaccine Supply For All Adults By May, Prioritizes Teachers
«As yet another move to help accelerate the safe reopening of schools, let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is. And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, child care workers — get them vaccinated immediately. They’re essential workers,» the president said. (Wise, 3/2)
In related news —
AP: Analysis: Biden Aims To Manage Expectations With Pandemic
President Joe Biden doesn’t just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic, he also has to manage people’s expectations for how soon the country will come out of it. And on the latter task, projecting too much optimism can be as risky as offering too little, requiring what one public health expert calls a “necessarily mixed message.” At every turn, as the Biden administration works to inoculate every adult American, the president is tempering bullish proclamations about the nation’s vaccine supply with warnings about the challenges ahead. (Lemire and Miller, 3/3)
Axios: Education Department Reopening Schools Summit To Be Held In March
The Department of Education is planning a national summit in March on how to safely reopen schools, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced in a USA Today op-ed Tuesday. By announcing the summit, the Biden administration is trying to depoliticize an issue that some of the president’s advisers worry will hurt them with suburban parents. (Knutson, 3/2)
Read the editorial by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona—
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.