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California COVID-19 vaccine: AC reserving 10% of doses for teachers and childcare workers, announces Governor Gavin Newsom

California will soon set aside 10% of all doses of first-round vaccines it receives specifically for teachers, educators and childcare workers, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Friday.

The change will begin on March 1, Newsom said, with a baseline of at least 75,000 doses per week. This is part of an effort to bring schools closer to resuming in-person learning.

Teachers and nursery nurses already have priority to receive the vaccine in California and can already register to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

“Thirty-five counties in the state of California are currently prioritizing the immunization of teachers and educators. We want to operationalize this as a standard for all 58 counties in the state,” said the governor.

California is also working to increase vaccine distribution to all groups, with a goal of delivering 4 million doses of vaccine per week. So far, the state has administered 6.9 million doses.

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As of Thursday, 264,000 doses were administered – the highest number on a single day to date, Newsom said.

“The only constraint is the manufactured supply,” Newsom said.

Vaccines have been a sticking point for the Unified School District of Los Angeles and the United Teachers Los Angeles union, which has incorporated it into their efforts to reopen schools safely.

WATCH | Governor Gavin Newsom discusses vaccine doses for teachers

In a statement, the California Teachers Associated said the governor’s announcement is “an important step in ensuring teachers and school staff have access to the vaccine before opening schools and work sites for in-person instruction. “.

State lawmakers on Thursday proposed a $ 6.5 billion deal to reopen schools. The proposal would allow funding for schools and force public health departments to prioritize teachers returning to in-person learning for vaccines.

But it would also give districts the opportunity to delay reopening.

“We are continuing the dialogue with the legislature, but the proposal has been brought forward actually delays the cause of the safe reopening of schools on a timeline that I believe benefits the most vulnerable Californians in this state,” Newsom said. .

With more vaccines on the way and headed in the arms of educators, LAUSD parents may soon have a choice to send their children back to school. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said if vaccinations go ahead he will have the potential to reopen every elementary school to a quarter of a million children by April.

RELATED | California lawmakers strike $ 6.5 billion deal to open schools

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