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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. State policymakers, buoyed by the fact the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine now has full FDA approval, are considering whether to mandate that teachers get the shot.
As of Sept. 20, two states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have ordered all teachers to get vaccinated. Another seven states have said teachers must get vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
Federal and many state officials prioritized teachers in the vaccination process last winter 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. Since children younger than 12 are still ineligible for the vaccine, it’s especially important for their teachers and other adults in the school building to be vaccinated, epidemiologists say.
On Sept. 9, 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, 87 percent of teachers have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a nationally representative survey by the EdWeek Research Center.
Many states have so far left the decision on whether to require staff vaccinations to individual school districts. (See which of the large school districts have issued requirements.) And some state officials are still trying to determine the legalities of mandates for the COVID-19 shot. At least nine states have prohibited school districts from requiring teachers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Data compilation and reporting: Madeline Will
Data visualization by Emma Patti Harris
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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 https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/where-teachers-are-required-to-get-vaccinated-against-covid-19/2021/08