Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday teachers should be a top priority in administering coronavirus vaccines but didn’t express an opinion on whether vaccinating instructors should be required for schools reopening.

Harris, in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” that marked her first one-on-one interview since taking office, noted that fewer than half the states are prioritizing teachers to get vaccinated but that each state has to decide whether they can institute safe measures, such as social distancing.

“Teachers should be a priority,” the vice president told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, adding that teachers “are critical to our children’s development.”

“They should be able to teach in a safe place and expand the minds and the opportunities of our children,” Harris said. “So teachers should be a priority along with other front-line workers.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance stating teacher vaccination shouldn’t be mandatory for schools to resume in-person instruction, but many teachers’ unions oppose the full reopening of schools until there is nearly universal vaccination of their members.

President Biden said during a Tuesday CNN town hall meeting saying that his administration’s goal is to get as many K-8 schools reopened within the first 100 days of his presidency, allowing students to go to class five days a week.

The vice president said reopening schools benefits children.

“Each day in the life of a child is a very long time,” she said. “And that’s why we’ve got to collectively do everything in our power to reopen our schools as quickly as possible, as safely as possible.”

As of Wednesday, the country has administered approximately 55.2 million of its 71.7 million available coronavirus vaccine doses, according to the CDC.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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