SAN ANTONIO (KTSA) – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff sent Gov. Abbott a letter Thursday urging him to add teachers to the state’s vaccine priority list.
“Recently, our Local Health Authority issued guidance for our area school districts cautioning against extensive in-person education in our school campus buildings,” the letter stated. “Understanding the State’s current emergency orders and school reopening policies, we write to request an amendment to Texas’s vaccine priority tiers and to ask for your support for widespread, regular COVID-19 testing in our schools.”
Health care workers, including school nurses, as well as residents of long-term care facilities are considered a priority, but Nirenberg and Wolff argue that teachers and faculty should also be among the first to receive the vaccine.
“While school nurses are more likely to interact with students who may be sick, studies have shown that children, teens and young adults are less likely to present with COVID-19 symptoms –making teachers and faculty just as susceptible to the asymptomatic spread of this pandemic,” the letter to the governor stated.
Nirenberg and Wolff also ask that CARES Act resources at the State level be used to offer regular testing for Texas students, educators and faculty. They point out that Community Labs, a nonprofit organization, is providing regular testing at a few local school districts, but only a handful of campuses are able to administer the tests.