The CDC is recommending educators get vaccinated in phase one, but in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, teachers are slated for phase two -- and they’re not happy about it.
“We’re not the ones politicizing it, the governor is,” said Megan Tuttle, president of the National Education Association of New Hampshire (NEA-NH).
Tensions are running high in New Hampshire as Tuttle calls on the governor to get educators vaccinated sooner.
COVID-19 Vaccine in New Hampshire
“We found out that ski patrol was getting prioritized over educators in New Hampshire for getting the vaccine in Phase 1,” she said.
Gov. Chris Sununu says the reason is simple.
“It’s about the functions being performed, a teacher does not perform emergency medical services,” Sununu said.
Ski patrollers do, he said.
“A ski patrol is effectively an EMT on skis,” Sununu said.
“The problem is that right now skiing is a luxury recreation,” Tuttle responded. “It’s an activity you don’t have to go do.”
What is necessary, Tuttle says, is getting kids back in the classroom.
“If the governor truly wants to get schools back open, then we need to get the teachers vaccinated,” she said.
Sununu disagrees, citing the low transmission rates in schools.
But Tuttle says it’s more about protecting teachers outside of their classrooms - so they can be there for the kids.
“If we don’t have enough educators in schools because they’re quarantining, we can’t have the schools open.”
New Hampshire and Massachusetts teachers are eligible in phase two of the vaccine rollout plan. In Massachusetts, that should start sometime next month. In New Hampshire, it’s set to start in March.