February 22, 2021
(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) – North Carolina teachers, staff and other child care workers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Wednesday. Some teachers welcome the news while others are more wary.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Feb. 10 via his Twitter page that the state will be expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those who work in the school system and child care beginning Feb 24. The news was a relief to many educators ready to get back to in-person learning with students.
Not all teachers welcomed the news.
“I don’t like that teachers have to wait until the end of February to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Kaila Franklin, a Cumberland County School teacher, “It makes me wonder if those who choose to get vaccinated will get a fair chance before schools reopen here in March.”
An article in Education Week shows that about 25 states across the U.S. where teachers are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, many states still have some restrictions due to age or regulations in different cities and counties.
Wanda Hooks, a Hoke County school teacher in Raeford, N.C. said, “I believe teachers should have been vaccinated as soon as front-line healthcare workers. Sickness spreads in schools very quickly and when our school re-opened for in-person learning, we had to shut down for a few more weeks again because students and teachers were getting sick and spreading The Virus. Eventually, I think it should be mandatory for students to receive the vaccine as well.”
COVID-19 vaccine supplies are low throughout the state of North Carolina, and many counties still have high COVID-19 cases. Even with expanded eligibility for teachers and faculty, the supply will still be very limited.
“Maybe for the next school year when more students are taking in-person classes and the vaccine has been assessed more, then it should be fully mandatory for students to receive the vaccine,” said Franklin, “It’s not just about students or teachers, it’s about everyone and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”