The head of the School District of Palm Beach County wants teachers prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
A school district spokesperson confirmed to WFLX on Wednesday that Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, asking the governor to make the vaccine available to school district employees, particularly those with direct student contact.
Currently, teachers in Florida are not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, unless they are 65 and older or deemed to be "extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by hospital providers."
During a news conference in Longwood on Jan 4., DeSantis said there are no plans to add teachers to the COVID-19 vaccine priority list at this time.
"The fact is, just based on the data, the average person under 65 in our workforce has been at less risk than our senior population," DeSantis said. "So we're going where the risk is greatest. We're going where we can have the most impact on saving lives."
The governor added, however, that the next group he's targeting for vaccinations is the workforce, including teachers and other essential workers. However, he admitted it could take weeks or even months before enough vaccine is available for that population.
The Palm Beach County School Board is expected to take up the issue of COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers when it meets on Wednesday afternoon.
In neighboring Martin County, school board members voted on Dec. 15 to send a formal request to DeSantis, asking that he allow school district employees who have direct contact with students to be considered a priority to receive the vaccine.
A spokesperson for the Martin County School District said they have not received a formal response from the governor’s office yet.