FORT MYERS, Fla. — As more students continue to head back to the classroom, educators are pushing to be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine. They want to be able to safely teach on campus.
The American Federation of Teachers is hosting a town hall to answer educators’ questions about the vaccine Tuesday. Teachers across the country are expected to take part.
It will feature a panel of health experts including from the FDA and CDC.
Meanwhile, Florida’s largest teacher union started an online push for people to tell Governor DeSantis they should be prioritized for the vaccine. The Florida Education Association said educators are frontline workers. However, the governor said they'll have to wait for now, as he works to get more of the state's elderly population vaccinated first.
The FEA is asking Floridians to write into the governor and ask him to change his mind, especially as more students return to in-person learning.
School staff on all levels across our state have spoken out.
"That makes sense to me based on how many people they interact with every day,” said Brandon Smith, FGCU Staff.
"I believe if our teachers are essential professionals, indispensable to our society, to our economy, then we ought to prioritize their status in terms of access to the vaccine,” added Supt. Alberto Carvalho with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
This comes as President-elect Joe Biden said reopening schools will be a top priority during his first 100 days in office.
While schools are already open in Florida, a number of students and teachers are still learning online because of COVID concerns.