Texas directs vaccine providers to begin giving shots to teachers, child care workers

HOUSTON – Texas health officials have directed all coronavirus vaccine providers to immediately expand eligibility to K-12 and preschool teachers and staff, as well as child care workers.

“It’s just simply great news,” said Zeph Capo, president of the Texas division of the American Federation of Teachers. “We’re hoping that all of our educators that want the vaccine take advantage of it, and as soon as possible.”

President Biden said on Tuesday that he would direct all states to “prioritize educators” and Tuesday night his acting secretary of Health and Human Services sent a letter to Texas officials doing just that.

The directive said states were “required” to add the following educators to the vaccine priority list: “[P]re-primary, primary and secondary schools; Head Start and Early Head Start programs; and those who work as or for licensed child care providers.”

Staff and bus drivers for any of these eligible fields are also part of the expansion, which is in addition to those already eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in phases 1A and 1B.

“This is going to be a huge piece of helping us stabilize our school system,” Capo said, “helping us get the focus back on students.”

State health officials have also asked providers to track the number of education and child care employees being given the shot as best they can.

Read more about vaccine waitlists here.


About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.