Union poll: 81% of teachers vaccinated or scheduled to
At least 81% of teachers as of April 1 had been vaccinated for COVID-19 or have appointments to receive their shots, according to data from a new poll of teachers by the country’s second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers. The data was shared with CBS News by the union.
This follows President Joe Biden’s March 2 call to prioritize vaccinating teachers by April 1 and increasing calls to reopen schools in more parts of the U.S.
“Let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is,” Biden said March 2. “And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, child-care workers — get them vaccinated immediately. They’re essential workers.”
“We want every educator, school staff member, childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March,” the president added.
At that time, 30 states were already prioritizing teachers for vaccinations.
Of the 18% of teachers who have not yet been vaccinated or have yet to schedule an appointment, 48% say they do not plan to get a dose, according to the poll carried out by Hart Research. They brought up hesitancy about vaccines, lack of research, or wanting more information, according to CBS News.
The poll of American Federation of Teachers members, carried out by Hart Research, also found that 85% of teachers are engaged in some form of in-person instruction—either full or part time—with 14% saying they continue to only teach remotely.
“There is still a race between the vaccine and the variants,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement, per CBS News. “But this polling shows AFT members know the importance of in school learning. They want to return, the roadmap to reopening is robust and if we instill trust and meet fear with facts we can finally end this national nightmare.”
Notably, 60% of teachers surveyed also said their schools had a COVID-19 testing program.
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