Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Streaming troubles? We've made changes. Please click here on for more information.

Texas Teachers Want Full Access To COVID-19 Vaccines Now

Teachers protesting outside Texas capitol
Michael Minasi
Teachers protested earlier in the pandemic when the state had considered sending them back to in-person learning at the start of the school year.

From Texas Standard:

Right now in Texas, only educators over the age of 65 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the state's Phase 1B vaccination plan.

But Ovidia Molina, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, says everyone working in the school system should have access, especially as the state pushes for in-person leaning.

“It’s not just the teacher that creates the atmosphere and the successes for our students; it’s everybody that works in our schools, it’s the person walking down the hall that says ‘hello’ to them, the cafeteria worker that makes their lunches,” Molina told Texas Standard.

She says the vaccine would provide peace of mind for teachers who worry about being exposed to the virus at work, getting sick and bringing it home to their families.

“I’m not safe, I’m not safe, I’m not safe is the feeling that we have constantly,” she said.

Contributing to that feeling of a lack of safety is the state’s reporting system. Molina says it’s up to the districts to report back to the state how my employees and students have tested positive for COVID-19, and every district goes about reporting a little differently. She says she worries the numbers aren’t accurate.

“We may not be seeing the numbers that are actual numbers for how many educators and students are getting COVID at school because … we don’t have clear guidelines as to what that means,” she said. “We don’t even know if what the data is telling us is true.”

Molina says expanding vaccine access to all educators is important to protect their health and that of their students.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.

Caroline Covington is Texas Standard's digital producer/reporter. She joined the team full time after finishing her master's in journalism at the UT J-School. She specializes in mental health reporting, and has a growing interest in data visualization. Before Texas Standard, Caroline was a freelancer for public radio, digital news outlets and podcasts, and produced a podcast pilot for Audible. Prior to journalism, she wrote and edited for marketing teams in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. She has a bachelor's in biology from UC Santa Barbara and a master's in French Studies from NYU.
Related Content