Vaccination eligibility is expanding; school employees need to act now!

Texas is expanding vaccine availability to those 50 and over beginning Monday, and President Joe Biden announced last night that everyone in the country will be eligible on May 1. (The federal government directed states to add all day-care workers and K-12 school employees for vaccine prioritization on March 3.) 

While the government and vaccine suppliers continue to ramp up production and distribution, supplies will still be limited as the eligibility pool expands. That means as educators, you need to act now to make an appointment and help meet the president’s goal of vaccinating all school employees by March 31.

The good news is that we are seeing numerous announcements from districts who have partnered with pharmacies or healthcare providers to ensure all employees are given appointments. Texas AFT has played an active role in reaching out to districts to ensure vaccination plans are in place, and we’ll continue our efforts to educate school employees with our Day of Action Vaccine Phone Bank on Monday evening. The CDC also has produced FAQs and a flier on how school employees can access vaccinations. Two starting points are the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and VaccineFinder.org.

Mask requirements lifted in many school districts, but vast majority still require them

As of today, we know of 20 Texas school districts in which school boards have voted to lift mask requirements for their campuses. More districts could be added to that list as school boards continue to meet this month. However, dozens more districts have stated that they will stick with the requirement.

Texas AFT has attempted to reach all our members in these districts by text message to ensure they are aware of the changes in rules, inquire if they have vaccinations scheduled, and provide information on how to find vaccine appointments.