GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Starting Monday, more people will be able to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
It’s included in the state’s next vaccination phase 1B and it includes police officers, first responders, state and federal employees, jail and prison staff, teachers and childcare providers. You can also get it if you’re older than 65 years old.
Members of the Michigan Education Association say this is the first key step to return to safe in-person learning.
They say decisions to return should still be made locally by school districts individually, but this gives the schools another layer of protection for teachers, students and their families.
Educators also say it’s important for teachers to get vaccinated because in-person instruction is the best way for students to learn and this will expedite the full return to learning.
“If you feel unsafe if you can’t do your job because your community has outbreak or spread, if you have medically fragile students and medically fragile teachers and education support professionals then you can’t do the kinds of services that we know work best for students,” President of the Michigan Education Association Paula Herbart said. “Vaccinations are a huge mitigation strategy that will help, not only educators, but communities feel safer about the possibility of returning to face to face while doing all the other safe practice strategies; like social distancing and masking up.”
At this point, educators say they have not yet discussed the specific rollout process, but they are making sure any educator who wants a vaccination should be able to get vaccinated in a timely manner.