Massachusetts' mass COVID-19 vaccination sites are prioritizing shots for educators and school staff on Saturday as the state readies to fully re-open schools for in-person learning.
The state is forcing elementary schools to reopen Monday as part of its phased school reopening plan.
"As long as the teachers are vaccinated, it should be safe. And if they have the proper procedures in place, it should be okay," said educator Joyce Girouard.
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Saturday marks the second of four days the state has designated for its seven mass vaccination sites to only offer first dose appointments for K-12 educators, K-12 school staff and child care workers. The sites will also offer educator-only vaccinations on April 10 and April 11.
A total of 400,000 school and childcare workers are eligible for a vaccine in the state, officials say.
While some had to wait longer than they had hoped for educators to become eligible, teachers and staff members of childcare centers alike are glad to be included now.
“We were really waiting in line and we kept getting pushed back further and further and then when they recognized all teachers and included us in that, that was really important," said Pam Penton from the Meeting House Child Care Center.
"Students are always full of all kinds of viruses anyways. This is valid. I start a class--a new class--next week, so I'm glad to have gotten it," added educator Chris Corcoran.
The seven mass vaccination sites include Gillette Stadium, the Hynes Convention Center, the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, the DoubleTree in Danvers, the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, the Natick Mall and the former Circuit City in Dartmouth.
Educators are required to use the preregistration system to request an appointment at one of the seven mass vaccination sites and authenticate they are a K-12 educator, K-12 staff member or child care worker.
Workers eligible for the educator-only vaccine days include but are not limited to educators, paraprofessionals /education support professionals, childcare educators, childcare program directors, district and school administrators, custodial staff and food service staff. For a full list of those eligible, click here.
Middle schools will reopen at the end of the month, according to state officials.
It is still unclear when high schools will reopen.