Wednesday, January 27, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: "Teachers complain about bump down in vaccination line"


"TEACHERS UNIONS ARE criticizing changes Gov. Charlie Baker made to the vaccine schedule that elevate those over 65 but push educators and others lower on the priority list, a shift teachers say will delay a return to in-person learning in some districts.

On Monday, Baker said residents aged 65 to 74 are being moved up from the end of Phase 2 of the vaccination schedule to the second spot, joining those with two or more comorbidities just behind the first priority group – those 75 and older.

Teachers, who previously had been behind those over 75 and those with two or more comorbidities, now fall back along with other groups, including transit operators, grocery store employees, and public health workers. Those groups will now wait longer for vaccinations.

“It’s like the Hunger Games,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, in a statement. “They are forcing communities to compete with one another for a scarce resource rather than establishing a fair system with clear rules. We had not opposed the original prioritization list because it had a rational basis and promised to deliver vaccines to educators in February. Now, those hopes may be dashed.”

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