La. superintendent asks for 166,000 vaccines to keep educators healthy

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BATON ROUGE – The state superintendent of education is vying for teachers and staff to be the next group of essential workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Cade Brumley said it's crucial in order to keep kids inside the classroom.

“We know that the value of early childcare centers across our state from kids’ birth to 4, as well as our Pre-K to 12 setting are vitally important settings to our society, to parents, to kids. And we want to keep those open as much as we possibly can," said Dr. Brumley.

Brumley recently sent a letter to the Louisiana Department of Health requesting that educators are prioritized.

"I want to make sure that 166,000 [teachers and staff] across the state have access to this, because they are front line employees taking care of kids,” Dr. Brumley said.

While virtual learning has been helpful during the pandemic, Dr. Brumley says it doesn't stack up to in-person learning. He says getting vaccines for educators will help prevent going back to online school.

"We heard from medical experts testifying this morning, our schools are one of the safest places to be. So we’ve been advocating for face-to-face instruction as much as possible,” he said.

Last week, Governor Edwards said they haven’t decided which group will receive the vaccine next. Health care workers and nursing home residents will be the first to get vaccinated in Louisiana. That process began Tuesday in Baton Rouge.

"We’re going to take into consideration who it is that is populating our hospitals at that time, because what we want to do is preserve hospital capacity and save lives. So we’re going to make sure whatever we’re seeing in our hospitals is reflected in the next order of priorities," Governor Edwards said.

If vaccines do become available to teachers, they will be administered on a volunteer basis.


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