Group 1b. Public School Employees Should be Prioritized. Here’s Why.
Public school employees are at heightened risk for COVID-19 exposure and ought to be prioritized in the vaccine distribution. Educators and school staff meet numerous individuals for sustained periods of time throughout the course of a workday. Often, they are working in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation and large classes. Further, it is estimated that 1 in 4 school employees are in a high-risk age range or exhibit comorbidities. The state has a duty to protect its teachers and school staff who serve as a backbone to our democratic society.
Prioritization of K-12 public school employees for COVID-19 vaccines will protect educators, but also produce a significant positive impact on the physical, emotional and intellectual health and well-being of children. Prioritizing public school employees can lead to safely restoring in person school schedules consequently elevating familial pressures leading to broader positive benefits for the state’s economy.
It is clear vaccination of minors will occur toward the end of the vaccination distribution. Therefore, vaccination of those who come in close contact with children is essential in reducing community spread. Additionally, teachers are trusted professionals who can create community confidence in the vaccine.
WEAC has remained committed to keeping members both informed and actively engaged throughout the COVID-19 health pandemic. See all our resources at weac.org/coronavirus.