Lawmakers ask state leaders to prioritize teachers, school staff for COVID-19 vaccine


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As state leaders prepare to release California’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution schedule, some lawmakers are calling on state leaders to put teachers and school staff near the top of the priority list.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R–San Luis Obispo, said he has serious concerns with the rising mental health issues and learning loss among students.

“I think we need to do everything we possibly can to protect our workforce in the education system, to prioritize them the way they should be for vaccinations and make sure we can get our schools as soon as practical, as soon as possible, in terms of safety, back into the classroom setting,” Cunningham said. “I think our kids need it and our teachers deserve it.”

Assemblyman Cunningham and Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D–Long Beach, sent a letter with the request to Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly Wednesday.

State leaders have been preparing a phased vaccination schedule, with likely frontline healthcare workers, along with congregate care staff and residents, in the first phase.

The lawmakers want teachers and school support staff to be prioritzed in the phase right after.

California is expected to receive 327,000 doses of the vaccine in mid-December.

“How do you break that down in even more detail, more specificity? That plan, detailed plan, will be out this week,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday.

The governor’s office has not said exactly when this week the plan will be released.

Lawmakers are scheduled to have a vaccine briefing with the administration Thursday morning.

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