MTA: Tremendous victory for teachers, early educators eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Massachusetts

(WWLP) – Starting March 11, 400,000 Massachusetts teachers K through 12, child care workers, and school staff will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state is falling in line with the Biden-Harris administration in calling for all school employees to be vaccinated by the end of the month. And it’s just in time, as Governor Charlie Baker is pushing to get elementary students back to in-person learning by April.

“We are finally making progress and starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. “We’ve had thousands of educators and school employees in-person since September. Their minds need to be put at ease that they will be far more protected. And for those coming into the schools full in person soon, they need that same peace of mind.”

The MTA has been calling on the state to follow the CDC guidelines for school districts, which include on-site access to vaccines and regular COVID-19 testing.

Massachusetts educators will be able to go to any of the state’s 170 vaccination sites to receive their doses. Gov. Baker said he’s working to set aside one day each week just for educators.

“It’s really hard to be a teacher, and I’ve seen that,” said Kayla Lopez, a Springfield Sci-Tech Senior. “It’s probably safer for the teacher as well to do it because if kids want to go back to school, they obviously need their teachers. They feel it’s better for teachers to be in person.”

It is estimated that it could take a month for all eligible people to secure the first appointment, because of vaccine supply constraints and the number of eligible people for vaccines.

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