Vaccinating first responders before school faculty


Katie Foster

CVS will be offering free COVID-19 vaccinations.

Katie Foster, AU-Live Managing Editor

As people around the world are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, there is some disagreement as to who should be the first in line to get vaccinated. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first doses of the vaccine are to go to healthcare workers and residents who live in healthcare facilities. 

Many people seem to agree with this because the elderly, especially ones with health problems, are at a much higher risk than most people. Receiving the vaccine is one step closer to getting back to their normal lives. They will no longer have to live in fear and their families and loved ones will soon be able to visit them again. 

The CDC said the second phase of people to receive the vaccine will be “frontline essential workers” and people over the age of  75. “Frontline essential workers” include police officers, firefighters, school teachers, daycare workers, etc. 

There has been much debate if school faculty should receive the vaccine before a firefighter or police officer. It seems this is happening in some areas around the country.

First responders have a duty to keep us safe, and they cannot do that efficiently if they are not protected against this deadly virus. As important as it is to receive an education, it is not necessary for teachers to be vaccinated before emergency workers. 

With today’s technology, classes can be held on the internet and learning does not have to be paused. In the classroom, six-feet social distancing is still being practiced and all students and staff are required to wear masks.

Six-feet social distancing would not be possible to achieve as a police officer, EMT, firefighter, etc. Their job is to work closely with people everyday. 

Classes are also being done in hybrid models, so students who do not have access to technology are still able to go to school a couple of days a week. 

Some may argue parents have a hard time finding someone to watch their children during the day. Many people are having trouble finding jobs. Hiring a nanny or care worker to watch children during the day would be one of many solutions to this problem. This also helps some of the unemployed who cannot find jobs during the pandemic.

The quicker first responders are vaccinated, the safer it is for the public and for them. 

Educators should still receive the vaccination eventually. The quicker school goes back to normal, the easier it will be for both students and faculty. 

The easiest way to make sure both first responders and educators are receiving the vaccine in a timely manner is for there to be a state level vaccine plan. This would leave the distribution of the vaccine up to the state, causing less tension over who gets the vaccine first because the state could decide that information.

As of right now, the quantity of vaccination doses are limited. Until the vaccine can be mass produced so everyone is able to be vaccinated, it is important for governments to decide who really needs to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.