Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hopes teachers 'will be near front of line' for COVID-19 vaccine

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With questions looming over whether teachers should be prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccines, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear that state educators, who he considers "front line workers," will be "near the front of the line."

According to the Texas Tribune, front line health care workers, after nine months of battling the deadly disease that has claimed more than 300,000 lives nationally and nearly 25,000 in Texas, are first in line for the injections, which began in Texas on Monday.

Abbott said Thursday that he hopes teachers, who he called "front line workers" and "pivotal to our society" will be "near the front of the line" as the vaccine gets more widely distributed in the coming weeks and months.

SEE ALSO: 'Well over a million people' in Texas will get COVID-19 vaccine, Abbott says

"Part of restoring normalcy in our state is to make sure we get our kids back in schools in a learning environment that is best for them, and part of achieving that goal is to make sure that we will have teachers in a safe and secure situation, vaccinated, able to be in a classroom teaching without fear of getting COVID-19," Abbott said. "So I urge and hope that teachers will be near the front of the line in receiving this vaccine."

Some teachers in southeast Texas want priority to get the COVID-19 vaccine after health care workers and vulnerable populations.

SEE ALSO: Ft. Bend Co. Judge wants teachers moved up in vaccine order

Candis Houston with the Aldine American Federation of Teachers said with class sizes growing, many educators and support staff report wanting access to the vaccine.

"I think it's very important that we don't just speak about teachers, that we speak about school employees because our organization represents teachers, bus drivers, and clerical," explained Houston. "All school employees are front line workers and they should be prioritized when it comes to the vaccine."

SEE ALSO: Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you

Meanwhile, Andrew Dewey with the Houston Federation of Teachers said access to vaccines for school staff is important for public education and the economy.

The video above is from a previous story.

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