During remarks at the White House on Tuesday, President Biden said every educator, school staff and child care worker should be considered an essential worker. He also challenged states to get those workers at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot by the end of March.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, issued new guidelines on how to reopen our schools safely. It’s a road map that will enable schools, if they have the resources they deserve to reopen safely. I have given those schools a roadmap. I’ve asked Congress to give them the tools. And today, to add one more tool to school reopening, a vaccinated workforce.

Let me be clear. We can reopen schools if the right steps are taken, even before employees are vaccinated. But time and again, we’ve heard from educators and parents, that have anxieties about that. So as yet another move to help accelerate the safe reopening of our schools, let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is. And that means getting essential workers who provide that service, educators, school staff, child care workers– get them vaccinated immediately. They’re essential workers.

Over 30 States have already taken the step to prioritize educators for vaccination. And today, I’m using the full authority of the federal government. I’m directing every State to do the same. My challenge to all States, territories, and the District of Columbia is this, we want every educator, school staff member, child care worker, to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March.

To help make this happen, starting next week and for the month of March, we’ll be using our federal pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of Pre-K through 12 educators and staff and child care workers. Throughout March, they will be able to sign up for an appointment at a pharmacy near them. I want to be very clear. Not every educator will be able to get their appointment in the first week. But our goal is to do everything we can to help every educator receive a shot this month, the month of March.