Biden Grants Vaccine Priority to Educators
- By Matt Jones
- March 03, 2021
President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday, March 2, that the U.S. is on track to have a vaccine supply sufficient for all adults by the end of May. In the same speech, he also stated that educators—including teachers, childcare workers, and school staff—will be given priority to receive the vaccine in the effort to reopen schools for in-person learning. Biden set the goal to have all such adult workers receive at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of March.
“Today, I’m using the full authority of the federal government; I’m directing every state to do the same,” said Biden. “My challenge to all states, territories, and the District of Columbia is this: We want every educator, school staff member, childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March.”
The administration will use a program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ship doses of the vaccine directly to pharmacies. These pharmacies have been directed to prioritize education workers and allow them to make appointments. CVS Pharmacy, which participates in the program, updated its website on Wednesday morning to read that childcare workers and K-12 workers are now eligible to sign up.
White House adviser David Kessler clarified that the administration is trying to be as inclusive as possible in its definition. “If you’re a teacher, if you’re a childcare worker, if you’re a staff worker, if you’re a bus driver in a school, you are eligible to go to that pharmacy and get your vaccine,” he said. He directed educational professionals to the CDC website for a list of participating pharmacies and encouraged them to sign up directly with their pharmacy of choice.
The CDC website currently lists at least 9,000 pharmacy locations nationwide open to educators.
Biden also admitted that the process of vaccinating every educator in America will take time. “I want to be very clear: Not every educator will be able to get their appointment in the first week,” he said. “But our goal is to do everything we can to help every educator receive a shot this month.”