State health department says teachers still not a priority for COVID-19 vaccine


HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — There is a stall in the movement to classify teachers and educators as frontline workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said teachers should be among those next in line to receive the vaccines, but in Texas teachers are not a priority right now.

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Zeph Capo, President of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, said the CDC recognize that is important to get vaccines to those that are more likely to be in places where the virus can be transmitted.

“The state should be following the national CDC guidelines that actually does that.” said Capo.

The decision to not include educators in group 1A or 1B was made by the state’s Expert Vaccine Allotment Panel.

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The state health department said the panel felt strongly about protecting those at the highest risk of severe illness, and death from COVID-19 first. Those over the age of 65, and those with a chronic illness.

“Yes, we understand that elderly can certainly have more drastic responses to the COVID virus, but there are many people, that are 65 and above who don’t necessarily go to work every day,” said Capo.

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DSHS said the panel is now considering the next priority of populations to vaccinate, after group 1B, but said no decision has been made.

Educators said they feel the State is being reactive and not proactive towards COVID-19 infections.

“We need to be making the best decision to prevent more people from spreading COVID-19, and that’s in the workplace, that’s in the schools,” said Capo.

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