Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee announced on Tuesday the state's plan to get all teachers, school staff and child care providers at least the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the month.
McKee said the plan supports the roadmap laid out by President Biden to prioritize teachers and to strive for a higher teacher vaccination rate.
“Getting our teachers, school staff, and child care workers vaccinated is one of the best things we can do right now to support students, families, schools, and our economy,” the governor said.
The plan comes a week after CVS and Walgreens pharmacies in Rhode Island made teachers eligible for the vaccine. McKee said the effort will continue into April to ensure all teachers also get their second dose of the vaccine.
"We're going to do everything that we possibly can to make sure that we salvage some of the school year in a real, strong way. We really need that time," he said.
State health officials said they estimate the plan will include 18,500 teachers and school staff, adding that a third of teachers have already been eligible for vaccinations under other cohorts such as age.
Education officials support the plan as a way to prioritize in-person learning to return in a more robust way.
"Our teachers have shown up, have been doing the work," said Rhode Island's Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. "Our teachers deserve to have this added layer of mitigation, so we're excited about being part of this new plan for vaccination."