State Schools Superintendent requests teachers be a first priority to get COVID vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 12:29 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 12:29:59-05

BALTIMORE — Maryland Schools Superintendent has requested that teachers, school staff and early child care professionals be included in the first priority in the plan to start COVID-19 vaccinations for essential employees in Maryland.

Dr. Karen B. Salmon made that request to that the Maryland Department of Health.

Acknowledging many factors influencing the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, “the safety and education of our children demand immediate attention,” said Dr. Salmon in a letter addressed to Dr. Jinlene Chan, Maryland Department of Health Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services.

“It is essential that we return to full or hybrid instructional models for the overall wellbeing and success of our prekindergarten through grade 12 students. Prolonged school closures have resulted in our children experiencing diminished academic achievement and social-emotional distress,” said Dr. Salmon. “We care about all of our education and child care professionals, many of whom have continued to work on the frontline throughout the pandemic, and we are requesting that they be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine in the earliest stages of distribution to essential employees.”

The request includes early child care workers who are providing critical education and care services.

“Child care professionals have played a crucial role in the State’s frontline pandemic response and recovery efforts,” said Dr. Salmon. “The safety of these programs must be maintained to protect child care staff and the families they serve.”

Dr. Salmon praised Dr. Chan and the Maryland Department of Health for “tireless efforts in securing the public health and safety of our schools and child care facilities.

“Our partnership is especially invaluable now,” said Dr. Salmon, “as we redefine education and child care environments as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Maryland Department of Health submitted its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on October 16.

The plan includes workers deemed essential in critical industries, including education.