Rep. Landgraf: prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccine

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott Monday advocating for Texas educators to be classified as “frontline workers” for COVID-19 vaccination purposes. This would allow many teachers who want to vaccine to be able to receive it sooner. 

“I emphatically ask you to include Texas public school employees in the priority category of ‘frontline workers,’” Landgraf writes in his letter to the governor. “These individuals are clearly on the frontlines, risking contracting COVID-19 each day in Texas schools in order to continue educating our Texas students. Employees on all levels in Texas public schools are crucial to carrying out the day-to-day operations while ensuring that a superior education is provided to our state’s schoolchildren.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) created the COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) to make recommendations on vaccine allocation decisions, including identifying groups that should be vaccinated first to provide the most protection to vulnerable populations and critical state resources. DSHS distributes the vaccine with the guidance of the EVAP. Currently, front-line healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities (Phase 1A), and people over 65 or with a chronic medical condition placing them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (Phase 1B) are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas per the panel’s recommendations.

“My constituents in West Texas and I highly value the difficult work of our educators, who ceaselessly go above and beyond everyday of this pandemic,” Landgraf continues in his letter to the governor. “Educators have constantly supported Texas students throughout the pandemic, so it’s only fair that we must support our educators during this critical time. It is in the best interest of all Texans to ensure that our Texas public school employees are included as ‘frontline workers’ to make certain our Texas schools remain healthy.”

Landgraf and the other members of the Texas legislature convened at the Texas Capitol building for the 87th Texas Legislative Session on January 12th, 2021. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate meet for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget.