In Arizona, where several schools have gone online in the past few weeks due to a flood of viruses, Governor Doug Ducey said teachers would be among the first to be vaccinated. “Teachers are essential to our state,” he said. Utah Governor Gary Herbert spoke about the possibility of educators being shot this month. And Los Angeles officials urged teachers to be given priority over firefighters and prison guards.
But in areas where kids spent much of the fall staring at laptop screens, it can be too early for parents to hope that public schools will open their doors soon or that students will return before the next time all day in the classroom are falling.
Given the limited number of vaccines available to the states and the logistical hurdles to distribute them, including the fact that two doses are needed several weeks apart, experts said that vaccination of the three million school teachers in the United States would States could be a slow process that lasts well into the US spring.
And even if enough educators are vaccinated for school officials and teacher unions, who have considerable power in many large districts, to hold classroom reopenings safe, schools will most likely need masks and detached students for many months to come, experts say the community’s expansion has decreased significantly, possibly by summer.
“I think some people have in mind that when we get the vaccine we will start and all of these other things will go away,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. represents public health authorities.
But in schools as in everyday life there will be no quick fix. “I have a feeling we will all be wearing masks and keeping our distance and trying to be careful with each other for probably most of 2021.”