States Interactive

Where Teachers Are Required to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

August 27, 2021 | Updated: May 04, 2022 1 min read
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This page is no longer being updated. The last data update was on Dec. 7, 2021.

High teacher vaccination rates are widely considered by public health experts to be a key component of keeping schools safely open for in-person instruction. In August 2021, buoyed by the full FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, state policymakers began to consider whether to mandate that teachers get the shot.

As of December 2021, two states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico ordered all teachers to get vaccinated. Another eight states said teachers must get vaccinated or undergo regular testing. On Dec. 2, 2021, New Mexico updated its vaccine-or-test rule to include a coronavirus booster shot.

Federal and many state officials prioritized teachers in the initial vaccine rollout as part of their strategy to return kids to school buildings. The vaccines protect those who receive them from serious illness or death from COVID-19 and also lower the likelihood of transmission to those around them.

On Sept. 9, 2021 President Joe Biden urged governors to adopt teacher vaccine requirements and created a route to set those requirements in some states where governors have not implemented their own mandates. Nationally, by August 2021, 87 percent of teachers had been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a nationally representative survey by the EdWeek Research Center.

Many states left the decision on whether to require staff vaccinations to individual school districts. As of December 2021, at least 10 states prohibited school districts from requiring teachers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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How to cite this page:

Where Teachers Are Required to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 (2021, August 27). Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from

Data compilation and reporting: Madeline Will
Data visualization by Emma Patti Harris


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