COVID

What Would Be Worth A Staff Professional Development Day? Vaccinations for Texas’ Teachers

Texas’ prioritization plan excludes front-line essential workers from the next tranche of shots, including the state’s nearly 2 million food and agricultural workers, according to the Feeding the Economy trade group. Teachers and school staff, police officers, manufacturing workers, U.S. Postal Service employees, and public transit workers are also among those who are prioritized under the CDC’s phase 1b recommendation, but not in Texas.
I had heard the rumors that Texas once again went rogue in the implementation of the much-needed vaccines, then I read the above paragraph in an article.  From what I’ve read, Florida is following their lead.  Texas teachers are back into classrooms next week since many districts are still meeting in-person instruction it would have been nice to provide teachers a bit of safety since they are also potentially exposed daily to this virus.
  Granted, schools have the self-check protocol where families are supposed to self-monitor symptoms, but you know as well as I that is not a 100% foolproof method.  I cannot count how many times during a non-pandemic year, I’ve had a student with fever, sore throat, etc. sitting in my class because the parent sent them to school in that condition.  The student had to wait out the time in the nurse’s office.  I realize some families may not have the means to keep a sick child home.   
Yet we know this virus is not like the others we’ve faced, so sending us back without being properly vaccinated is unwise in my opinion.  It clearly sends a message of our importance.  Yet to me, the message is a bit muddled, but isn’t that how politics go?  One article by ATPE states that Abbott considered teachers front line workers. This article seems to indicate a passing of the proverbial buck in his waffling on when we should receive vaccinations. 
I am not saying the elderly or medically at-risk are not important.  I do feel they need it as well to alleviate the overload of our hospitals.   My in-laws received theirs this morning at a citywide free event for those 65 and older.  I am glad they had this opportunity since I do worry about them as well.  I just worry for friends and coworkers still teaching and their safety.  I know eventually, they will be part of the group allowed to get vaccinated, but really wish it would be sooner than later. 
Wouldn’t it have been nice for our powers that be to set up a day before we get back on campus allowing all school staff to be vaccinated?  That would be a worthy “staff development” day for sure. 

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