Dear Office of Refugee Resettlement Partners,
On March 2, 2021, the President announced that he is directing all states to prioritize school staff and childcare workers for COVID-19 vaccination, and is challenging them to get teachers, school staff, and workers in child care programs their first shot by the end of March. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that staff in organizations caring for children through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program and Unaccompanied Children (UC) Care Provider Organizations are eligible for vaccination through this directive as childcare workers.
CDC is working with states that have not yet included teachers, school staff, and childcare workers in their prioritization to ensure they have the support needed to make this change. CDC is identifying best practices for vaccinating these essential workers, as well as addressing barriers that immunization programs have experienced in order to share best practices and increase the efficiency of this effort. More information will be forthcoming from CDC in the days and weeks ahead.
The following teachers, school staff and childcare workers will be eligible:
- Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade,
- Childcare centers and family childcare providers, including URM and UC care provider Organizations, and
- Head Start and Early Head Start
To help states accomplish this goal, there are two avenues for obtaining vaccination for school and childcare staff.
First, states have been directed to make these workers eligible at all available vaccination locations. Teachers, school staff and childcare workers will also be offered the opportunity to be vaccinated at these sites if they wish to be.
Second, the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is prioritizing vaccinations for teachers, school staff and child care workers during the month of March. Starting on March 8th, teachers and school staff in pre-K-12 schools and child care programs, including URM and UAC care providers, will be able to sign up for an appointment at over 9,000 pharmacy locations participating in the federal program nationwide.
In order to reach our goal to get all teachers, school staff and childcare workers their first vaccine by the end of the month, we need your help. While we will be doing all we can to get the word out to URM and UAC child care providers, your direct communication to your programs letting them know about this presidential directive and how to get vaccinated will be key. We’ll be providing additional guidance and information in the coming days about how to access appointments through the Federal Pharmacy Programs in addition to your state and local vaccination programs.
Thank you very much for your help in getting these essential workers vaccinated.