Firefighters, Teachers Unions to Meet With Officials Over COVID Vaccine Push

As teachers and school staff become eligible to get the COVID vaccine in Massachusetts, several unions are pushing to have firefighters help administer the shots

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The professional firefighters of Massachusetts union was scheduled to meet with the Massachusetts Teachers Association and state health officials Wednesday to discuss a proposal to have firefighters administer COVID-19 shots to educators.

However, the meeting was postponed until Thursday, according to an MTA official.

The postponement came as Massachusetts officials on Wednesday announced the state's seven mass vaccination sites will be reserved exclusively for educators during four dedicated days on Saturday, March 27, Saturday, April 3, Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11.

Teachers and school staff become eligible to get the COVID vaccine Thursday in Massachusetts. Local fire departments have said they have the manpower to host clinics, they just need the supply.

But Gov. Charlie Baker has said the state does not have the supply to send to small-scale clinics. The state is planning to set aside certain days for teachers at some of the state's vaccination sites, according to Baker.

Merrie Najimy of the Massachusetts Teachers Association said something needs to happen soon, otherwise teachers are going to have to take time off from the classroom just to get their shots, and the districts don't have the substitutes to cover them.

"Our educators cannot sit online all day and wait for an appointment. They're working with students. It's unsettling and it's reckless not to have a plan," Najimy said.

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