To prevent another school season from being affected, Biden visited a Washington middle school Friday, promoting COVID’s new plan and blaming some Republican governors for not focusing on children’s health.
States Are Pressed To Require All Teachers To Receive Vaccinations By Biden
The plan, which Biden announced earlier, calls for vaccinations for up to 100 million Americans, as well as increased vaccine testing. After implementing these measures, he said, there should be little risk of Coronavirus being transmitted in schools.
As COVID-19 delta variants become more prevalent, schools may shut down after a few days – which is not completely consistent with Biden’s plan. School matters are largely left to local governments, and Biden’s plan faces severe resistance from Republicans. All employers with over 100 workers have to mandate that they get vaccines weekly or have them tested for the virus. About 300,000 federal workers are required to receive vaccines as part of a separate provision.
Locally governed schools are not specifically required to provide vaccines to teachers, but some educators believe that the employer rule in many states will fall short of requiring that. This aspect of the plan will be implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration through a forthcoming rule. Among the requirements of OSHA plans are tests or vaccinations for teachers, according to an interpretation by the Association of School Administrators of America.
Several Republican governors oppose Biden’s plan, such as South Carolina, Tennessee, and Arizona, so the plan is expected to apply to 26 states. That part of Biden’s plan was not discussed Friday. Rather than imposing universal vaccination requirements on school workers, he advised states to specify their requirements. All four states have ordered their teachers to get vaccinated. Most states leave it up to the schools, and some Republican-controlled states do not require vaccines.
Republican governors who have pledged to fight Biden’s new regulations were criticized by the vice president on Friday. Biden’s remarks tended to be more conciliatory than those of his remarks on Thursday, in which he expressed his frustrations over unvaccinated children. As he stressed on Friday, “we have to work together” to beat the virus. He applauded the students who had already received vaccines at Brookland. Biden promised them they would all get shots and they would receive a special visit from the president at the White House. In addition, he praised Washington, D.C. Biden said that in Washington, D.C., vaccine clinics are conducted in public schools, where 65% of children aged 12-17 have had their first shot, one of the highest rates in the nation.
During a speech, Vice President Biden encouraged parents to get vaccinated as early as possible for their teenagers and other eligible children. He argued that it was just like standard vaccinations against measles, mumps, rubella, and other diseases. His plan faces many obstacles, however, including a large population of children too young for the shot. Many children below 12 aren’t eligible to receive Coronavirus vaccines at most elementary and middle schools.
Despite concerns about the vaccine, Biden said he supports the use of an “independent” scientific review process, but pledged to distribute them to younger children as soon as it’s safe. Some districts have opted to mandate students get shots even though they are not subject to the expanded vaccine mandate. LA Unified School District announced this week that all students 12 and older will be required to participate in the program.
Furthermore, Biden’s plan includes more virus testing in schools. Specified testing policies vary widely from school to school and state to state. Some districts, including the one in Los Angeles, test all students regularly, whereas others don’t. For many people, the lack of rapid testing supplies is making it harder to find testing supplies.
Walmart and Amazon are among the retailers receiving virus tests from the government under the White House plan. There will be 300 million more Coronavirus tests, which include some for schools, according to Biden.
Two of the country’s biggest teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, supported the plan. As well, both groups support mandates that all teachers and staff receive vaccines. Additionally, the National School Boards Association supports the proposal, which is called “extremely critical at this time.” Despite threats, abuse, and harassment directed at education leaders over their public health measures, the group welcomed Biden’s support. Jill Biden, who spoke alongside Biden on Friday, described educators as “heroes” who have excelled in their work over the past year. According to the first lady, our country owes it to students to protect them as they return to school.
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