School Board advocates for vaccinations for educators

The McAllen ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to declare all Texas educators as frontline workers at a regular meeting held earlier this week.

This stemmed from a recommendation from State Board of Education member (District 2) Ruben Cortez. He asked that all School Boards in Region One (an eight-county area of South Texas) adopt a resolution asking Governor Greg Abbott to declare all Texas educators as frontline workers so they may receive priority in obtaining early vaccinations against COVID-19.

District personnel in McAllen ISD and across the state have responded heroically to the challenges brought forth by COVID-19 regarding the delivery of instruction.

Issues persist in the quality of learning especially among students that would most benefit from live, face to face instruction. Texas public school district employees are essential to the day-to-day operations of a school district and are critical for the resumption of live, face-to-face instruction.

The resolution reads, in part, “whereas, the public schools of the state of Texas are dependent on dedicated school personnel from administrators, teachers, educational and professional specialists to clerical, maintenance, transportation, child nutrition, security and other support staff to conduct the day-to-day operations of our schools and ensure the mission goal of the efficient delivery of instruction.”

The first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Texas this week, according to a news release from Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The state was allocated 224,250 doses of vaccine which was scheduled for shipment to 110 providers across the state this week.

The Pfizer vaccine began shipping following an emergency use authorization issued Dec. 11 by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Dept. of State Health Services has created an Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) to make recommendations on vaccine allocation decisions, including identifying groups that should be vaccinated first to provide the most protection to vulnerable populations and critical state resources. This includes frontline workers “who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy,” according to the DSHS website.

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