State Superintendent Requests Vaccine Prioritization for Child Care Workers, Teachers, & School Staff

Maryland Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon today requested that the Maryland Department of Health include teachers, school staff, and early child care professionals as the first priority in the plan for administering COVID-19 vaccinations for essential employees in Maryland.

In a letter addressed to Dr. Jinlene Chan, Maryland Department of Health Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services, Dr. Salmon stated that “the safety and education of our children demand immediate attention,” and as these professionals have played a crucial role in Maryland’s frontline pandemic response and recovery, the “safety of these programs must be maintained to protect child care staff and the families they serve.”

From the press release:

“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 State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. “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.”

“Continued school closings impact all of our children, especially those in underserved communities and vulnerable to abuse,” said Clarence C. Crawford, President of the Maryland State Board of Education. “Prioritizing distribution of this vaccine to our teachers and school staff will help expedite the return of full in-person instruction for our students.

The Maryland Department of Health submitted its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on October 16, 2020. The plan includes workers deemed essential in critical industries, including education.

See full press release.

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