'Not a Prerequisite': CDC Director Says Schools can Reopen Safely Without Teachers Being Vaccinated

Nick Kangadis | February 4, 2021
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The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) might not like the following revelation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that could give them no excuse but to actually work.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spoke during a White House COVID-19 response briefing on Wednesday and said that vaccinations for teachers isn’t a “prerequisite” for reopening and returning to schools. 

“There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely," Walensky said. "Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools.”

This information flies in the face of what the CTU wrote in an open letter on Thursday.

We cannot return to in-person instruction until we have made more progress with the district on CDC-based health metrics, allowing educators with medically vulnerable family members to continue to teach remotely, and addressing real equity needs for the vast majority of our students - particularly Black and Latinx students who continue to learn remotely.

That’s all well and good. You should think about medically vulnerable loved ones during a pandemic, if you live with them or are often in close contact with them. But just last week, “CDC researchers” reported that “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission,” according to Reuters.

If the CTU wants the school district to “follow the science” and follow “CDC-based health metrics,” what will the excuse be when taking into account Walensky’s comments, if they actually pay attention to what the CDC is saying.