CDC: Almost 80 percent of teachers, childcare workers have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose
Almost 80 percent of teachers, school staff and childcare workers had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released Tuesday.
The CDC reported that more than 2 million teachers, school staff and childcare workers received vaccinations through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program in March. Another 5 million to 6 million were inoculated as part of state programs.
“Our push to ensure that teachers, school staff, and childcare workers were vaccinated during March has paid off and paved the way for safer in-person learning,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a release.
“CDC will build on the success of this program and work with our partners to continue expanding our vaccination efforts, as we work to ensure confidence in COVID-19 vaccines,” she added.
The CDC said its survey of nearly 13,000 responses from education staff and almost 40,000 from childcare workers “closely matched” national race, ethnicity and demographic data on the industry’s employees.
Early in March, President Biden requested all states prioritize teachers and school staff in the vaccination process, saying that the country needs these employees to receive at least one shot before the end of last month.
Biden set the target after reopening schools became a heated topic, with Republicans pushing for the resumption of in-person instruction while several teachers unions called for their members to be fully vaccinated before returning to school.
The CDC previously said earlier this year that teacher vaccinations “should not be considered a condition” to return to classrooms.
The president said he aims to reopen a majority of K-8 schools for in-person instruction for five days a week by his 100th day in office, which comes at the end of the month.
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