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CDC: Schools can safely reopen even if teachers are not vaccinated for the coronavirus

WASHINGTON — The Director of the CDC says schools can safely reopen even if teachers are not vaccinated for the coronavirus.

As some teachers’ unions balk at resuming in-person instruction before teachers are inoculated, Dr. Rochelle Walensky says, “Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for safe reopening of schools.” Walensky cited CDC data showing that social distancing and wearing a mask significantly reduce the spread of the virus in school settings.

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White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients called on Congress to pass additional funding to ensure schools have the resources necessary to support reopening.

President Joe Biden has pledged to ensure nearly all K-8 schools will reopen for in-person instruction in the first 100 days of his administration.

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Teachers are prioritized as “essential workers” under the CDC’s vaccination plans, though many have yet to receive doses as the nation continues to face a supply shortage of the vaccine.

Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a White House briefing on the Biden administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington.
Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a White House briefing on the Biden administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP)

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