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Treasure Coast educators hopeful after President Biden announces all teachers are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

'I think it's very ambitious,' teacher says
Posted at 10:56 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 00:35:08-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.  — President Joe Biden is challenging all states to get educators of all ages vaccinated before the end of March.

"I think it's ambitious," said Sue Rao, vice president of the Martin County Education Association. "I think it's very ambitious."

Rao is also a fourth-grade teacher.

Just 24 hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis made Florida teachers ages 50 and older a priority for the vaccine, Biden made the announcement Tuesday.

Educators across the Treasure Coast are skeptical.

"It's a lofty goal," said Chris Waldrop, a teacher at Centennial High School. "I mean, I think it's a great goal to have, but, yeah, as far as how it is going to work, that is very interesting."

Biden said school staff members and childcare workers would be made a priority, along with teachers.

"We'll be using our federal pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of pre-K through 12 educators and staff and childcare workers," Biden said in a news conference. "Throughout March, they will be able to sign up for an appointment at a pharmacy near them."

"It conflicts a little bit with the governor's announcement," said Rao. "Is the governor now just going to turn around and agree to everybody or is he going to stick to his 50 and over?"

Apart from confusion, both Rao and Waldrop said it's a weight off of their shoulders to now have access.

"I live in a family where we have children, and we also have in-laws that live in my house that are at risk," said Waldrop.

"That was my biggest concern was what would I bring home, not so much for me but my husband, who is in the older age range," said Rao.

They're eager to see a plan in place.

"School site reps, their teachers are wondering, so are we going to have a plan for this?" asked Rao. "Is the district going to distribute it and how is it going to happen?"