Rhode Island plans to get all K-12 teachers, school support staffers, and workers at state licensed child care facilities their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of March, Gov. Daniel McKee said Tuesday.
The shots will be administered starting as early as this week at the 30 local vaccination clinics already established around the state, the Democrat said at a Pawtucket vaccination site. Staffers at public, private and parochial schools will be eligible.
"Getting our teachers, school staff, and child care workers vaccinated is one of the best things we can do right now to support students, families, schools, and our economy," McKee said Tuesday.
The only exception will be in Providence, where a clinic exclusively for school and day care workers will be set up to administer the shots, state Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green said.
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To reach the state's goals, about 18,500 teachers, school staffers and child care workers need to be vaccinated, said Tom McCarthy, director of the state Department of Health's COVID-19 unit.
People will be vaccinated based on where they work, not where they live, he said.
The plan was welcomed by two major teacher's unions, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and the state branch of the National Education Association.