Stepping up the efforts to get kids, teachers back to in-person learning Thursday February 18, 2021 Written by Liz Bonis & Merby Curtis ERLANGER, Ky. (WKRC) – The debate is heating up about whether teachers should go back to the classroom for in-person learning without being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been saying for months that kids should be back in school for in-person learning. This week, they’re getting some extra backing from top infection control experts and the Biden Administration, which said teachers should move up in priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. “We’re very excited to get all of our teachers vaccinated and school personnel,” said Suzi Francis, the manager of ambulatory pharmacy at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. For weeks now, Northern Kentucky teachers have been a priority group for the vaccine. Francis’ team gave up weekends to vaccinate teachers. “We did,” Francis said. “I’ve worked every Saturday since New Year’s.” So far, Kentucky is one of 28 states where all or some teachers are eligible to get the vaccine. Getting kids back in the classroom without fully vaccinating teachers has pitted many against parents and students ready for in-person learning. “My fear is that I will be personally responsible for killing a child,” said Hollie Miller, a Cincinnati Public Schools teacher. While waiting for all to be vaccinated is ideal, at a coronavirus town hall, President Joe Biden pushed for younger students to return to in-person learning. “Many of them, five days a week -- the goal will be five days a week. Now, it's going to be harder to open up the high schools,” said Biden. The nation’s top doctor said waiting for full teacher vaccinations is not necessary. “They’re a priority when it comes to essential personnel, but we think we can move forward as we vaccinate teachers,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “But it doesn't have to be that if they're not vaccinated then you don't open the school.” Studies are now being conducted in children ages 12 to 17 to see if the vaccine is safe for them. Studies in younger students are expected if these early trials continue to show good protection results.