AEA: 'Education employees are dying,' seeks vaccinations

The Alabama Education Association is urging the state to give teachers COVID-19 vaccinations following the deaths of at least 30 public school employees from the contagious illness.

Posted: Jan 25, 2021 3:27 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Education Association is urging the state to give teachers COVID-19 vaccinations following the deaths of at least 30 public school employees from the contagious illness.

The group, which represents public education employees, sent a letter Friday to State Health Officer Scott Harris asking the state to direct county health departments to begin vaccinating education employees “as soon as possible.” AEA estimated Friday that 30 people have died from COVID-19. The number includes teachers, support staff, coaches and administrators.

“Education employees are dying on an almost-daily basis because of COVID-19 and complications therefrom. Other than the closure of schools, the only way to prevent this or slow this is to provide for the widespread vaccination of employees,” Stokes wrote.

Alabama is currently giving vaccinations only to health care workers, nursing home residents, people 75 and older and first responders.

Under the state vaccine plan, the first shots in the rollout were given to health care workers and nursing home residents. The state announced earlier this month that it is triaging people in the 1b group because of the limited supply. The state on Jan. 18 began vaccinating people over 75 and first responders, but others in the 1b group - such as teachers - would have to wait.

AEA said that four educators in the Montgomery County Schools system died within 48 hours. Montgomery Schools Superintendent Ann Roy Moore announced Monday that the county school system is switching to all virtual learning beginning Feb. 1 and will remain virtual until vaccinations are available to educators.

Moore said she understood four school system employees had died after contracting COVID-19.

Harris, who heads the Alabama Department of Public Health, said Friday that the supply of vaccine is the chief barrier to getting more groups vaccinated.

As of Monday, the state of nearly 5 million people has had 521,225 doses delivered to the state and 255,291 shots have been administered. Currently, there are more than 600,000 people eligible for vaccinations in Alabama, including 325,000 health care workers and 350,000 people who are 75 or older.

President Joe Biden’s administration has moved to expand national eligibility to people over 65 as part of a proposed vaccination blitz to get more shots in arms.

“We believe every one of those people deserves a vaccine and needs to get it as fast as possible. Yet at the same time adding hundreds of thousands of people to the lines we have right now, without any more vaccine, is going to be a difficult situation for everyone,” Harris said.

The vaccine rollout has been punctuated with frustration as people jammed a state appointment line to try to get an appointment for a shot.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
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