President Biden says teachers and educators should be prioritized as eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. But what is Rhode Island doing?
While the state hasn’t announced officially whether or not teachers and educators can be moved up the list to get their vaccinations, CVS pharmacies across the state include K-12 teachers, daycare and preschool workers and staff as eligible for the vaccine as of Wednesday morning.
The state’s mass vaccination sites don’t include educators yet as being eligible and right now only those ages 65 and older can register to be vaccinated at one of two state-run vaccination sites.
“Educators being now placed on the vaccination list is certainly fantastic news,” said Supt. Philip Thornton. “We are looking forward to the state plan to operationalize the rollout of vaccinations for educators in RI.”
On Wednesday morning Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker officially announced educators in his state are now eligible for the vaccination, hours after CVS locations there included them as eligible on their site.
Getting Rhode Island educators vaccinated could help move more students back into the classroom.
“If we can vaccinate all of our teachers and staff quickly then I would love to see us work aggressively to get our students back in the classroom for at least four days a week if not five days,” said Warwick School Committee member David Testa. “I think having a fully vaccinated staff is a game-changer.”
Up until now, Biden was pushing for students to return to the classroom nationwide without the assurance of vaccinations for teachers.
CVS adding educators to its vaccine eligibility list happened just one day after Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo was officially confirmed as Biden’s commerce secretary. Raimondo resigned her office Tuesday night and Lt. Gov. Dan McKee was sworn in as the state’s current governor.