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ATPE’s statement on COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

COVID-19 School Safety

Date Posted: 12/03/2020


Many educators have been asking about the state's plans for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines once they are made available.

On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott's office announced that an initial allotment of 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will begin to arrive in Texas this month, with further allotments expected. Here in Texas, the vaccines will distributed according to guidelines developed by the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) under the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The governor's office emphasized the vaccines will only be provided to those who voluntarily choose to be immunized, and the state will prioritize access for healthcare workers, frontline workers, and vulnerable populations.

Under the state plan, a first phase of vaccinations will be prioritized for the healthcare workforce. School nurses are expected to be included in the first phase, based on the information released by DSHS. The second phase of vaccinations will be made available to front-line workers at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work.

In a press statement Thursday, ATPE emphasized the critical role public school employees play in our communities and the role vaccines could play in getting students and educators back into their classrooms, where most students fare better than in a remote learning environment.

"Based upon our discussions with state officials in recent weeks, ATPE is confident that educators working in Texas public schools will be included in this second phase and have early access to the vaccine, if they choose to receive it," ATPE said in the statement. "This is a critical step to getting Texas back to normal. Educators are and have always been on the front lines doing work that is integral to the well-being of Texas and its citizens."

ATPE also urged state leaders to be transparent, consistent, and forthright in their efforts to keep the public informed about the immunization process. You can read the full statement here.


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