As news of successful COVID-19 vaccine tests by both Pfizer and Moderna spread, states are already starting to plan how they will distribute a potential vaccine. This has people wondering exactly where they fall in line. If you are an Indiana teacher, we have an answer to that question, second.
Long-term care facility residents and frontline health care providers will be the first to receive the vaccine. Coronavirus has ravaged seniors and other at-risk individuals thus they along with frontline workers have been prioritized. State officials have indicated that teachers would probably be in the group immediately following. Under the Indiana plan, teachers would likely be categorized as “critical infrastructure” workers.
The obvious question that many will ask is why would the state engage in any kind of picking and choosing around who gets vaccines? Why not everyone, or first come-first serve? The answer is in the availability. There is high demand for the vaccine, and there is expected to be a certain amount of scarcity initially. This means that most places are planning to distribute the vaccine in “phases” according to need or risk. Teachers are expected to be vaccinated no later than Phase 2.
In addition to local conversations about teachers, there has also been speculation nationally about what role schools will play in vaccinations in general. Schools have served as distribution points for such initiatives in the past. However, schools may not be equipped to store the vaccines and kids are generally not considered high risk or essential and thus are way down the list of potential recipients. Wide spread vaccinations for students may not occur this year.