Texas teachers and child care workers can breathe a sigh of relief today, as COVID-19 vaccination eligibility in Texas is being expanded to include school employees and child care providers.

Texas Health and Human Services announced Wednesday afternoon that they have instructed vaccine providers to begin administering vaccines to people working in schools and and child care operations.

The THHS letter to providers followed a federal directive aimed at getting educators  and people who look after Texas a single-dose vaccine or at least a first dose by the end of March.

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A letter from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services office reads:

All COVID-19 vaccination providers are directed and required to make available
and administer, as one of the currently eligible groups, COVID-19 vaccine to those
who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start
and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and
those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and
family care providers.

Before today, seniors, frontline essential workers, and people age 16 and up with underling medical conditions or increased risk of hospitalization were prioritized for vaccination. They will continue to be high-priority recipients, but now our educators and child care workers will be part of the effort to get as many Texans vaccinated as possible.

The Texas Tribune reports that as of March 1, 6.8% of Texans had been fully vaccinated. Vaccine supplies have been limited as manufacturers have struggled to meet the nationwide demand, but officials are optimistic that vaccination centers will be fully supplied by the end of May.

CVS updated its website Wednesday to reflect the eligibility of teachers and daycare workers to book a free vaccine appointment at one of their participating pharmacies. H-E-B had not yet updated their vaccine website as of early Wednesday afternoon, but knowing H-E-B, the update should be coming soon.

If you ask me, expanding eligibility to teachers and daycare workers is welcome news. While I understand prioritizing seniors and people with underlying conditions while vaccine supplies were especially low (I care for my disabled mother, and she was able to get dose 2 of the Pfizer vaccine Tuesday afternoon, thank goodness), it's time to start taking care of the people educating and caring for Texas' kids.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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