BOSTON (WPRI) — Teachers and other school staff members in Massachusetts will soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday.
Educators can sign up for an appointment at all 170 vaccination sites in the state starting Thursday, March 11. That means another 400,000 people will become eligible, the governor noted.
Specific days for teachers will be be designated at mass vaccination sites, according to Baker.
The announcement comes one day after President Joe Biden said he was directing states to prioritize teachers for vaccination. Biden said he wants to see enough doses for every educator and school worker to receive their first shot by the end of March.
Earlier on Wednesday, CVS Health listed K-12 teachers, daycare, and preschool workers and staff as eligible to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at participating locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Baker said the decision comes in an effort to streamline the state’s vaccination process and limit the amount of confusion between federal eligibility guidelines and state eligibility guidelines.
Massachusetts residents 65 years and older, along with those 16 years and older with two or more medical conditions, are also currently eligible for the vaccine.
“The fact remains, we are still only going to get about 150,000 first doses every week,” Baker said. “We’d like everybody to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, but it will take time to move the current folks who are left in the 65-plus and two comorbidities categories, who want to get vaccinated, through the system, as well as the 400,000 educators who would be part of this group.”
Teachers in Massachusetts were already next in line to be eligible to sign up for a vaccine.