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MD Schools Superintendent Calls for Vaccination of Educators, School Staff in Phase One

December 16th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

State Superintendent Karen Salmon is recommending that teachers, school staff and child care professionals be prioritized alongside front-line health care workers for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Maryland.

That recommendation was made in a letter to Dr. Jinlene Chan, the acting deputy secretary of public health services at the Maryland Department of Health.

"Prolonged school closures have resulted in our children experiencing diminished academic achievement and social-emotional distress,” Salmon said. “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.”

Maryland's plan, submitted to federal officials in October, prioritizes health workers and staff at hospitals as well as to staff and residents of long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Educators would get the vaccine in the second phase.

An August study by the World Health Organization found that teachers were not necessarily at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus at school. The study could not isolate the impact of closing schools on reducing the spread of the virus.