LOS ANGELES - White House officials announced that nearly 80 percent of teachers, school staff members and child care workers have received at least a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as the Biden administration continues its effort to get Americans vaccinated and open schools safely.
"At the beginning of March, the president directed states and the federal retail pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of teachers, school staff and child care workers during the month of March," Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a White House press briefing on COVID-19 Wednesday.
"As the president announced yesterday, as of the end of March, the latest CDC estimates show that almost 80% of pre-k through 12th grade teachers, school staff and child care workers received at least one shot," Slavitt said.
On March 2, President Joe Biden directed all states to make Pre-K-12 teachers, school staff and child care workers eligible for vaccination and prioritized vaccinations for them within the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program during the month of March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Then, earlier this week, Biden announced that the United States crossed the threshold of 150 million shots in just 75 days of his administration.
Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech holds a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered in a clinical trial on December 15, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. The Johnson &
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 million teachers, school staff, and child care workers were vaccinated through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program during the month of March. Additionally, 5 to 6 million were vaccinated through their state programs through the end of March.
"CDC, in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families, the Department of Education, and our non-federal partners, conducted surveys of Pre-K-12 teachers, school staff, and childcare workers at the end of March. CDC received almost 13,000 responses from education staff and nearly 40,000 responses from childcare workers. The responses closely matched available national race/ethnicity and demographic data on this specific workforce," the CDC wrote.
More than 171 million doses of the vaccine have been administered across the U.S., and more than 64 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC’s data Wednesday.
"Our push to ensure that teachers, school staff, and childcare workers were vaccinated during March has paid off and paved the way for safer in-person learning," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "CDC will build on the success of this program and work with our partners to continue expanding our vaccination efforts, as we work to ensure confidence in COVID-19 vaccines."