The Chiefs for Change Board of Directors today issued the following statement.
News that Pfizer has developed a COVID-19 vaccine with 90 percent efficacy that might be available early in the new year is cause for optimism. It will, as has been reported, take months to make the vaccine universally available. The government will play an important role in how we prioritize early distribution to essential workers. With this in mind, we emphasize that teachers and other school staff are essential workers and should be among the first to get the vaccine. The government should also prioritize distributing the vaccine to children and families in places where the pandemic is least controlled. This will be critical for our collective efforts to safely welcome all students and teachers back to their school buildings in the spring. We now have a historic opportunity to stem the tide of learning loss and the pernicious effects of isolation on our children. As the leaders of state and district education systems, we urge the government to prioritize teachers, other essential school staff, and students in the grand effort to vaccinate everyone in our country.