Education secretary encourages mandating vaccines for educators

Education secretary encourages mandating vaccines for educators
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Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaHillicon Valley — Immigrants being put in surveillance programs Senate Democrats urge government to do more to protect K-12 schools against hackers Democrats call on Education secretary to address 'stealthing' at federal level MORE said Wednesday he is in favor of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations as educators and students return to schools this fall.

"I would like to see that as long as it's safe," Cardona said at a virtual National Press Foundation event, adding that "vaccination is the best way to get our schools safely reopened."

"I was hoping ... that the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] stamp would happen already, but I respect that process," he added later, saying he and his family would not have gotten the vaccine if it wasn't safe.

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Cardona added that he believes the conversation around mandating vaccines for educators will be considered more seriously once the FDA fully approves the vaccines. The shots have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use.

The Education secretary's comments came as California announced Wednesday that teachers and staff in all school districts would be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first state to implement the mandate.  

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said Sunday that her organization is revisiting the possibility of vaccine mandates for teachers. The AFT did not support mandates previously, but Weingarten said the union was willing to work with employers to try to find solutions as parts of the country experience surges in cases due to the delta variant.

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciAustralia reviewing reopening plans after reporting first omicron cases Biden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Canada reports North America's first cases of omicron COVID-19 variant MORE, the nation's leading infectious diseases doctor, said Tuesday that he supports local governments mandating the vaccine for teachers.