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State Should Allow Health Departments To Vaccinate Teachers, Mass. Senate President Karen Spilka Says

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka said that while she believes Gov. Charlie Baker did the right thing by following President Biden's directive to vaccinate educators, she added the state needs a better strategy to quickly get shots in the arms of teachers.

Last week, Spilka called for the state to designate a portion of its shipment of Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccines to be designated for teachers. The state did not respond to the request.

Baker announced that teachers will be eligible to sign up for COVID vaccines at any of the state's vaccination sites starting March 11. Teachers are currently eligible to sign up through CVS following President Biden's directive.

Spilka discussed the state's vaccination plan with WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller.

"I think we need to make sure the support services and resources are given to the schools. First and foremost are vaccinations for teachers and staff," Spilka said. "I believe we need to follow the science and listen to the experts, who seem to be saying let's get at least one vaccination into the arms of teachers. I believe the most efficient way to do that is to bring the vaccination into the communities."

Rather than making teachers compete for vaccine appointmetns with other eligible residents, Spilka said local health departments should be allowed to give shots to teachers.

"If you want to get teachers vaccinated, they don't have time to spend hours on the website, which is confusing and anxiety provoking, I know that firsthand," she said. "And they don't necessarily have time to take off. So, great it's on the weekend, but if you bring (vaccines) to the communities, you can do it almost like an assembly line. Get them with appointments, lined up, have them get their vaccinations locally and get ready to go."

Keller @ Large: Part 2


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