Baton Rouge, LA — Louisiana’s K-12 teachers and school employees will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, February 22, 2021. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees has urged the Governor’s office to grant educators priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine since the State first began assembling its vaccination rollout plan.
“This is an important development for our teachers, school employees, and the communities they serve. Vaccinating teachers and school employees is one of the best tools we have to keep schools safe and open and today’s decision will go a long way towards getting us back to normal,” said LFT President Larry Carter. “I would especially like to thank Senator Cleo Fields, who has used his platform to highlight the important work our educators are doing and advocating that they get immediate access to the vaccine,” he continued.
On February 5th, Senator Cleo Fields wrote to the Governor to insist that he use his power to add K-12 educators to the ongoing phase of vaccine distribution. Since then, LFT has continued to work alongside Senator Fields, with the Governor’s office and other state officials to ensure that educators don’t get left behind. “I am relieved that our educators will now have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Their service and dedication throughout this pandemic cannot be overstated” said Senator Fields. “We still have a lot of work to do to bring Louisiana out of this moment of crisis, but this is an important step,” he added.
While access to the vaccine will help to remove some of the fear and uncertainty felt by teacher and support staff, it is important that schools prioritize ongoing mitigation measures like masks and physical distancing. The newest CDC guidelines released last week clearly state that the only way to reopen schools safely is to follow a combination of mitigation strategies with emphasis placed on the universal and correct wearing of masks and physical distancing.
“I would also like to thank Governor Edwards for showing how much he values Louisiana’s teachers and school employees by ensuring that they will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine now, rather than waiting until the spring,” said President Carter.
Many of LFT affiliate Locals across the state have already begun to work with Local Education Authorities to prepare for the moment when educators would have access to the vaccine. Ensuring that teachers and school employees are able to easily access the vaccine at no cost and with limited disruption to the school day is imperative. LFT will continue to work with state and local officials in order to make this transition as smooth as possible and promote widespread vaccine access in our schools.