Home>Congress>Gottheimer, Malinowski tell CDC to prioritize teacher vaccines

From left, Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), Andy Kim (D-Bordentown) and Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Gottheimer, Malinowski tell CDC to prioritize teacher vaccines

By David Wildstein, February 05 2021 11:14 am

Two New Jersey congressmen want the Center for Disease Control to issue new guidelines to safely reopen New Jersey schools by prioritizing vaccines for educators.

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) are also seeking standardized quarantine guidelines for all state and local governments to reduce confusion.

“We know that every parent, including ourselves, wants their child to be able to return to a safe and stable school environment where they can see their friends and receive the best education possible,”  Gottheimer and Malinowski wrote in a letter  to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. “We, therefore, believe that prioritizing vaccinations for teachers and school staff is critical. We should do so for the same reason we decided to vaccinate first responders like firefighters and police officers — because they perform an indispensable public function that puts them at risk.”

Gottheimer and Malinowski cited reports of high student absenteeism and declines in reading and math proficiency.

“It’s essential that clear and consistent guidelines must be established at all levels of government to mitigate confusion regarding what constitutes exposure to the virus and how long individuals must quarantine,” the two lawmakers stated.  “Schools should administer regular COVID-19 tests, including pooled testing, that are funded by the federal government. This will help manage COVID-19 cases within the school population and limit the potential for outbreaks of the virus.”

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