by Tori Newby ’22
In December 2020, the coronavirus vaccination process began in the United States. Healthcare workers and nursing home staff and residents were the first to receive their doses in Maryland, followed by those 75 and older and educators. Currently, Maryland is onto phase 1C, which includes adults 65 and older as well as a larger group of essential workers. Despite the fact that the Maryland vaccination program has progressed thus far, there are still numerous people in the earlier groups who have yet to receive their vaccinations, including teachers.
It is crucial that all teachers receive a vaccine before they are asked to return to school. In buildings not originally equipped for social distancing measures and ventilation, a vaccination is a vital component of protecting teachers and preventing outbreaks in schools. Although teachers are eligible to receive the vaccine, many are still waiting for a first or second dose, and MCPS should not send teachers back to school until every educator receives a vaccine. Vaccinations have been difficult to schedule for many teachers, and there was little communication with the school system to determine where teachers can receive their doses. First, MCPS must address the inefficiency of the county’s vaccination process, and then they can discuss sending teachers and students back into school buildings.