LOS ANGELES, CBSLA – As the battle to reopen the schools continues, a Los Angeles County leader calls for the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
The Los Angeles County Superintendent, Janice Hahn, sent a letter to the California government on Wednesday. Gavin Newsom, the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage teachers to prioritize vaccines to get students back to school faster.
Although it has been a problem before, this pandemic has shown once and for all that our teachers are needed in the classrooms, writes guide Khan in his letter. We need teachers in their classrooms. Our children, our families and our economy need it. Our scheme for the distribution of vaccines should reflect this fact.
In particular, Mr Khan urges teachers to proceed to the first stage of the Stage 1B vaccination plan.
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A kindergarten teacher picks up crayons from students in a class at Lupine Hill Elementary School in Calabasas, California, in the Las Virgenes United School District on the 9th. November 2020 in Calabasas, California. (L-Sabe/Los Angeles Times)
California started distributing the vaccine on Monday. California is currently in Phase 1A of its COVID-19 distribution plan, which includes paid and unpaid caregivers and nursing home residents.
After vaccinating the healthcare workers and residents of the long-term care institutions, the plan will move on to Phase 1B, which will include the essential workers. According to the CDC, key employees include teachers, police officers, firefighters, prison staff, transport workers, grocery store workers and farm workers.
Khan calls for teachers to be at the top of the list.
While dozens of private schools have already received waivers to reopen school buildings, most public schools, including those in the Los Angeles County Unified School District, have remained closed since March, with classes taking place virtually. Long Beach Unified announced this week that the schools will not open until March.
Los Angeles County should have received a total of about 83,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week and perhaps another 250,000 doses of Modern vaccine next week, assuming FDA approval over the weekend.
The province expects to receive 150,000 additional doses of vaccine from Pfizer by the end of December and then distribute 250,000 doses per week from January. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses approximately three weeks apart.
Since Los Angeles County plans to vaccinate 6 million people in six months, this equates to 12 million doses of vaccine.
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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report).
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