In Some States, Child Care Workers Won’t Get the Covid Vaccine for Months

First, the state of Rhode Island announced to childcare workers and early childhood educators like Mary Varr that they were eligible for the Covid vaccine along with all of the other educators in the state. It made sense for Varr to seek out health care workers and those who work and live in long-term care facilities, but before the general population.

But then at the end of January the state announced Instead, this eligibility would depend solely on age. Although the state appreciates that 58 percent According to Varr, in this scenario, most of their staff won’t be able to get the vaccine until June, when K-12 teachers are eligible because of their age ahead of the general population. “Which is ridiculous,” said Varr, who is the executive director of the Woonsocket Headstart and Child Development Association.

“It’s very frustrating,” she said. “We have been working since the beginning of the pandemic.” In her state, daycare centers were allowed to reopen after the first lockdown in June. Their center reopened as soon as possible, although there were few guidelines on how to do it safely. It has been in operation as continuously as possible ever since.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” she said. She pointed out that there are more people in her classrooms than there are currently in the state recommends People interact with outside of their own households. Her employees “are in the trenches every day,” she said. “It continues to show the inequality of what people look like in early childhood.”

“It’s a slap in the face,” she added. “The fact that we are not considered professionals is not seen as important. [that we’re] Second class citizen. ”

The good news that effective vaccines against Covid-19 were being developed so quickly has now given way to a complicated debate over how to prioritize the limited and precious early doses. While many child carers and early childhood educators have been open and caring for children through most of the pandemic, many of them find that they are not eligible to receive the vaccine for months. Some states have even reconciled public school teachers, though both jobs require looking after children and are vital to the functioning of the larger economy.

The Centers for Disease Control recommended that child carer be included in phase 1b together with elementary and university teachers. But that was advisory and it is up to each state to make final decisions. Their choices were very different. According to an analysis by Child Care Aware of AmericaWhile 40 states have put childcare workers at the same level as K-12 educators, five of them – Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming – and Washington, DC, have placed K-12 teachers in front of these teachers and caring for children in younger years. As in Rhode Island, Vermont originally said that childcare workers and teachers would have priority at the same time and then would switch gears to set eligibility based on age, according to Mario Cardona, director of policy and practice at Child Care Aware. Four states – Florida, Indiana, Texas, and West Virginia – haven’t made it clear when childcare providers are eligible.

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