Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Vaccinating teachers 'not a prerequisite' for safely reopening schools, CDC director says

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during Wednesday's White House coronavirus briefing that the agency's data shows vaccinating teachers "is not a prerequisite" for safely reopening schools.

Figuring out how to safely get children back in the classroom is a priority for the Biden administration, albeit one that is the subject of much debate and growing tensions between lawmakers, school districts, and teachers' unions. Teachers are eligible for vaccination in many states, but distribution struggles and a shortage in supply have slowed the rollout. The good news, seemingly, is that studies have suggested transmission is rare in schools, though it's unclear if that will settle the matter.

Relatedly, Walensky also said it's "premature" to begin thinking about whether to mandate inoculations to access certain places, like federal property or schools, while demand still outstrips supply. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, agreed. Tim O'Donnell