Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today called for New Jersey educators to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine following news that vaccine eligibility would be expanded to residents over 65.
After the Administration announced vaccine eligibility would be expanded to residents over 65 years old, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso called vaccines for teachers so in-school instruction can resume. (Flickr)
“We absolutely must be giving the vaccine to our older, vulnerable population immediately and I commend the decision to do that. However, while we are expanding eligibility it is important that we add our educators to that list as well,” said O’Scanlon. “The administration has clearly stated that they believe the goal must be to keep schools open safely. They have acknowledged that prolonged fully remote learning has impacts on our students. The best, obvious way to ensure we can keep kids in school is by immediately expanding eligibility to our teachers. Staff shortages due to exposure in the community or schools have been the number one issue causing closures for our school districts. If we vaccinate educators we can keep schools open.”
“Other states, like New York, have prioritized educators and since the administration often follows lockstep with them, why aren’t we doing that here?” DiMaso stated. “I’m pleased to see that our elderly population will be eligible immediately. Now we must continue that expansion to more of our essential workers – teachers. While we, thankfully, have not had many serious outbreaks in our schools it is very clear that schools must remain open. Providing educators with the vaccine is yet another way to ensure that both our children and our teachers stay safe while providing critically necessary in-person instruction.”