HomeDriversNSTA Urges School Bus Contractors to Petition Governors for COVID-19 Vaccine

NSTA Urges School Bus Contractors to Petition Governors for COVID-19 Vaccine

Governors hold the keys to allowing school bus drivers to be among the first recipients of COVID-19 vaccines, the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) said.

In an email to members on Tuesday, NSTA’s Executive Director Curt Macysyn wrote that private school bus companies should work within their respective states to ensure school bus drivers receive priority as essential workers. Macysyn noted that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has indicated that state governors have the final say in who will have first access to the vaccine.

NSTA provided a template letter to use in petitioning governors to make school bus drivers a priority.

Macysyn testified last week before a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee on immunization practices and asked that school bus drivers be given priority. He shared with the committee that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has already listed school bus drivers among the essential and critical workers for education and transportation.

On Nov. 27, CDC’s advisory committee published the four ethical principles it said will assist in forming recommendations for the allocation of COVID-19 vaccine, while supply is limited. It explained the allocation should Maximize benefits and minimize harms, promote justice, mitigate health inequities, and promote transparency.

Macysyn also pointed to comments made this week by presumed President-elect Joe Biden, who specifically mentioned the protection of school bus drivers when discussing changes he said are needed in schools to combat the spread of COVID-19. Biden referred to ventilation systems being implemented and personal protection equipment being made widely available.

The Food and Drug Administration is to meet over the coming two weeks to review separate requests for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

Related: Texas School Bus Driver Dies from Complications Associated with COVID-19
Related: FDA Approves First COVID-19, Self-Testing Kit for Rapid Results
Related: Officials Promote Vaccines, Prevention Amid ‘Epidemic’ Number of Flu Deaths

Editor’s note — This article has been updated to provide a link to information published by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the ethical distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

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