DALLAS — Teachers, child care providers and school staff in Texas have been calling for vaccines to be expanded for their group -- and the wait is over.
The Texas health department announced the expansion to state vaccination sites on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directed states to expand the eligibility for vaccines to include people who work in school and child care operations.
Biden said his goal is for every pre-K through 12th grade educator, school staff member and childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of March.
That expansion for Texas educators includes:
- teachers, including pre-primary, primary, secondary, Head Start and Early Head Start
- bus drivers
- those who work for licensed child care providers, such as staff and support
- licensed child care providers, including center-based or family care providers
This does not change the other groups who are prioritized for the vaccine, like 1A and 1B.
"I encourage you to continue your efforts to vaccinate older adults since the burden of COVID-19 falls so severely on people ages 65 and older," said Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt.
"All vaccine providers in Texas should immediately include this personnel in vaccination administration and outreach to ensure they are able to be immunized," the Texas state health department said in a statement.
The Texas Department of State Health Services asked vaccine providers to track the number of education and child care employees that are vaccinated.
CVS has opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments to teachers and daycare staff following the directive from Biden.
"The federal pharmacy program will prioritize vaccinating all school staff, and childcare workers during the month of March," according to the CDC's website.