California begins plan to vaccinate teachers

10% of all vaccines set aside for teachers starting March 1

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Caitlin Fowler / Talon

English teacher Caitlin Fowler receives first COVID-19 vaccine at county Rose Ave Site in Oxnard. Ventura County teachers became officially eligible for the vaccine March 1, although some were able to get vaccinated late last week.

Bailey Andera and Amanda Dermott

Teachers, day care workers and others involved in education will soon be able to access 10% of all vaccinations that California receives. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this plan to begin the return to in-person instruction on Friday, Feb. 19.

The plan will begin fully on March 1, with 75,000 doses across the state being initially set aside from the state’s weekly allocation, according to NPR. 35 of 58 counties in California are currently prioritizing teachers and educators as recipients of the vaccine, a number Newsom hopes to expand to all counties statewide.

Currently, the CDC does not require teachers to be vaccinated for a return to in-person instruction, though it has a number of outlines to follow which work to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to Newsom, the purpose of this plan is to stimulate the “ecosystem” that the reopening of schools for in-person learning requires. This plan came the day after Newsom called a plan introduced by state Democrats to reopen schools by April 15 “not aggressive enough.”

“Since the first week of this year, the Legislature has had before it our Administration’s plan to accelerate and support school reopenings for our youngest students – as safely and quickly as possible,” Newsom wrote in a statement. “While the Legislature’s proposal represents a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough or fast enough. I look forward to building on the growing momentum to get our schools open and continuing discussions with the Legislature to get our kids back in school as safely and quickly as possible.”