BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden is urging states to prioritize teacher vaccinations this month. Alabama school staff are already eligible to get the vaccine, but many are still waiting to get an appointment.
“We want every educator, school staff member, childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March,” said President Biden.
President Biden is matching words with action and is set to use the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to meet that deadline. The program works with local retail pharmacies like CVS to expand vaccine access.
Alabama has already started vaccinating educators, but union leaders say this will help reach staff outside some of the bigger cities and farther away from big hospitals.
“We’re very fortunate in this area because we have UAB and many of our school districts were able to partner with UAB,” said Tracee Binion with the Alabama Federation of Teachers. “But I think what president Biden’s initiative will allow us to do is allow the rural areas.”
Union leaders say some districts have a plan in place to vaccinate staff and employees who are ready but are just waiting for appointments.
“St. Clair County was able to vaccinate most of their teachers through a local pharmacy there,” said Binion. “But one area, Moody, was not able to get it because there was not enough available. So they continue to wait. So I’m hoping that President Biden prioritizing they’ll get the supply they need.”
President Biden plans to start the rollout to pharmacies next week.