Union members discuss COVID-19 vaccine options for teachers

Union members discuss COVID-19 vaccine options for teachers
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey has said he hoped school leaders would be included in early COVID-19 vaccination efforts and it could happen soon after CDC officials approved teachers as next candidates to get the shot.

The CDC Panel categorized teachers as frontline essential workers, which means they are people who are needed to keep society functioning and are at a substantially higher risk of exposure.

Union leaders say they’re glad teachers are getting the designation because of the risks that come with the work. They haven’t heard that the vaccine would be mandatory for teacher, but they’re happy teachers could soon have access to it if they want it.

“If we want to keep schools open and keep school leaders healthy,” said Tracee Binion with the Alabama Education Association. “It’s going to be very important for us to have that availability.”

“There are some who are very anxious to get it and they are very please that they would have the opportunity to do it soon. There are others who feel like there are too many variables and too many unknowns and they would rather hang back and see what happens,” said Marrianne Hayward with the American Federation of Teachers of Jefferson County.

Union leaders say they have not gotten a timeline at the state level about when teachers could get access to the vaccine.

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