Florida governor denies vaccine priority for teachers and school staff

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News4Jax | by Zachery Lashway | January 5, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said teachers and school staff should not expect to be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine, saying people 65 and older come first.

“This is based on data, and if you look at the COVID mortality, 65 and up represents over 80 percent of the COVID related mortality in our country and our state. So that’s where we’ve got to focus,” DeSantis said Monday.

Educators 65 and older and school employees in medically vulnerable populations can get the vaccine, but the state’s largest association for teachers is calling for signatures for a petition to tell the governor to ensure all educators get priority.

“The CDC recommends that educators should have access to the COVID19 vaccine ASAP, but Governor Ron DeSantis has decided to ignore the CDC priority list, choosing to play politics instead. Tell the governor to ensure educators have access to the COVID vaccine.” the Florida Education Association published on Twitter.

Last month, the president of FEA sent a letter to Governor DeSantis asking for teachers to be on the priority list, writing “It is clear from the number of educators and students who have had to isolate at home because of illness or exposure, that our schools remain a source of community spread of COVID-19.”

According to FEA’s website, 24 educators and family members have died from COVID-19 as of Monday.