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'I think it is ridiculous' | Teachers frustrated as they wait for COVID-19 vaccines

"We don’t want to come to work fearful every day and that’s what is happening with many of our teachers," said the head of the Houston Federation of Teachers.

HOUSTON — Many teachers in the Houston area are frustrated, because like everyone else, they’re waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Jackie Anderson, with the Houston Federation of Teachers, says the vast majority of the 6,000 teachers she represents are back in the classroom.

“I have teachers calling me every day who say they have presumed cases in their class. They have positive cases in their classroom,” said Anderson. “I think it is ridiculous, because if you expect teachers to be opening schools on the front lines and working with students - considering them essential - then they should be considered essential to get the vaccine.”

The CDC does include teachers in group 1B. It’s the state of Texas that doesn’t.

KHOU 11 News asked the Texas Department of State Health Services when vaccine eligibility will be expanded, and who may be in the next group.

“The Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel continues discussion about what the next priority groups or populations will look like for vaccination. No decisions have been made as yet," Press officer Douglas Loveday said. "The Phase 1A and 1B group is a large population, and vaccination efforts will remain focused here for several weeks to come.”

He says as of yesterday, only 21.6% of Texans 65 and older have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

For now, teachers are waiting in long lines like everyone else. They can only get shots if they qualify by being school nurses, 65 years old or older, or have underlying health conditions.