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CDC said teacher vaccinations 'not a prerequisite' for safe school re-openings

President Joe Biden has said that nearly all K-8 schools will reopen for in-person learning within the first 100 days of him taking office.

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China COVID-19
A medical worker inoculates a recipient with a COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary inoculation site in Haidian District in Beijing, China, Jan. 11, 2021
(Xinhua/Ren Chao via Getty Images)
Updated: February 3, 2021 - 5:24pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says schools can reopen safely regardless of whether teachers are vaccinated for COVID-19.

Some teachers’ unions are demanding instruction continue online until teachers receive the coronavirus vaccine, according to the Associated Press.

"Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools," Walensky said Tuesday, citing CDC data that shows that maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19 in schools. 

Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 coordinator, requested that Congress pass additional funding to ensure institutions have the resources they need in order to support a reopening.

President Biden has said that nearly all K-8 schools will reopen for in-person learning within the first 100 days of him taking office.

Teachers are deemed as "essential workers" under the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination plans so they will be high on the list of those who will receive the vaccine first. 

However, many teachers have not yet received the vaccine as the nation faces a supply shortage of the vaccine.