State Watch

DeWine says Ohio teachers, school staff to be next group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said in a press conference on Wednesday that teachers and school staff in the state will be next in line to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

DeWine said he hoped to begin those vaccinations by mid-January, offering the shots at all schools that seek to continue or restart in-person learning, CNN reported. According to DeWine, 45 percent of Ohio students are fully remote, while 26 percent are in a hybrid model.

In addition to teachers and school staff, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians and anyone else who is routinely in contact with children at schools will be eligible for the vaccine in this designated group.

The decision on who will receive the vaccine after front line health care workers has been left to state governments to decide. Many have yet to announce who will be next.

As The New York Times reports, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel released recommendations on Sunday regarding who should be vaccinated next. The panel listed essential workers such as emergency responders, teachers, grocery store workers and those who work in restaurants and construction.

Many companies such as Amazon and Uber have advocated for their own workers to get the vaccine next, as they are more likely to be exposed to the virus due to the nature of their work.

Members of Congress and other high-ranking government officials began receiving their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine last week. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were among the first members who received the vaccine in public.

But a few lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they will wait to get the vaccine due to their belief that other groups are more in need of immunization than they are. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) both said on Monday they would not be receiving the vaccine despite having access as congressional lawmakers.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said he and his staff would wait to get the vaccine, opting instead to distribute his allocation to more “vulnerable populations.”

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez COVID-19 vaccine Ilhan Omar Immunization Marco Rubio Mike DeWine Mike DeWine Ohio school staff teachers Tulsi Gabbard

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