Lt. Governor Howie Morales Says Educators Should Get the Imminent COVID-19 Vaccine First with Healthcare Workers to Re-Open Schools

(Santa Fe, NM) – New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales today called for the state’s educators to be among the first group – with healthcare workers – to receive allocation of the impending COVID-19 vaccine in order to speed the re-opening of public schools for full-time, in-person learning. 

“We are losing ground on our students’ learning after nine months of remote and at-home online instruction.  It is imperative that we re-open New Mexico’s schools and get children back in the classroom as soon as possible.  That requires educators to be at the front of the line, along with healthcare workers, for access to the vaccine.  Responsibly keeping educators safe now can restart in-person learning, allowing us to keep one hand in the present, and one hand in the future,” Lt. Governor Howie Morales said.  

Two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that are reported to be 95% effective or better will likely be approved by federal authorities shortly for emergency use in the U.S.

“There may be only enough doses for 20 million Americans early next year, meaning that states will need to ration their allocations of the vaccine. To avoid the real threat of long-term harm to a generation of New Mexico’s schoolchildren, we’ve got to make sure educators do not wait to get this vaccine,” Morales said.

“I worry about the harm of not being at school for nine months on young people’s mental health, which may be significant and long-lasting. It’s vital for our economy too, because without open schools, many parents with school-age children can’t go to work,” Morales added.

Morales recently toured New Mexico to hear from residents, business and community leaders about state efforts dealing with COVID.  One concern he heard consistently is the strong desire for in-person learning to resume safely.