coronavirus pandemic

Educators Call for Faster Vaccinations to Spur School Reopening Process

As of now, teachers are included in Phase 2, Group 3 of the state's vaccination efforts

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After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released guidelines for reopening schools across the country, educators in Massachusetts are calling on the state to quicken the pace of vaccinations for school staff.

This week, the Massachusetts Teachers Association joined in a letter to the state proposing a rapid vaccination plan for school employees.

As of now, teachers are included in Phase 2, Group 3 of the state's vaccination efforts, the same group as grocery and restaurant workers. In late January, Merrie Najimy, the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, said Gov. Charlie Baker "can't have his cake and eat it too," after Baker's consistent urging to get students back in the classroom.

"We have to get our educators vaccinated -- Pre-K through 12, higher ed, faculty and staff --- sooner than later," Najimy said.

Now that the vaccine is being distributed, hope is growing among parents, teachers and students that schools will fully re-open for in person learning and things might start to get back to normal.

Health officials are releasing new guidelines for a safe reopening, but many teachers say they're very worried about what's ahead.

The CDC recommendations for reopening include:

  • Washing hands.
  • Universal and correct use of masks and social distancing.
  • Makin teachers a high priority for vaccinations. Vaccinating teachers, however, is not mandatory.

Health officials are hoping that the implementation of these guidelines can put everyone on a faster track to normalcy and in person learning.

The return to school will help relieve some of the stress on families. In Boston, only 7% of students are participating in in-person learning.

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