Comes as teachers unions fight against returning to schools after months of virtual learning.
Teachers don’t need to receive the COVID-19 vaccination for schools to be safely reopened, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Joe Biden’s CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a White House news briefing Wednesday that vaccinating teachers is not a prerequisite to reopening schools.
“There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated,” Walensky said.
“Vaccinations of teachers is not a prerequisite for safely reopening schools,” she added.
Walensky’s remarks come as teachers unions around the country insist that teachers won’t feel safe to return to schools unless they are vaccinated first.
For example, negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the city government over returning to the classroom soured to the point where Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to “take action” against teachers who refuse to return to work as the city lifts restrictions.
Likewise, unions in California are insisting teachers won’t return to schools unless they get vaccinated first, which Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) shot down due to the vaccine’s current lack of availability in the state.
“If everybody has to be vaccinated, we might as well just tell people the truth: There will be no in-person instruction in the state of California,” Newsom said last week.