BOSTON (CBS) - Teachers are now listed as eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts at CVS stores. The move came hours before Governor Charlie Baker announced that teachers and school staff can start signing up for appointments at all vaccination sites across the state starting Thursday, March 11.
The CVS appointment website added "Teachers K-12, Daycare and preschool workers, and staff" to its eligibility list early Wednesday morning.
It came a day after President Biden issued a directive Tuesday for retail pharmacies across the country to give teachers access to the vaccine. The president wants states to prioritize vaccinating teachers and school staff by the end of March.
"We're aligning with updated Federal Retail Pharmacy Program guidelines by making appointments available to pre-K through 12 educators and staff and childcare workers in all 17 states where we currently offer COVID-19 vaccines, including in MA," CVS spokesman Matt Blanchette told WBZ-TV in a statement.
The federal program is supplying CVS and other pharmacies directly with vaccine shipments so the stores are not getting them from states.
All CVS appointments were currently booked as of Wednesday, but the pharmacy often adds appointments. The website said availability "can change quickly based on demand."
"When appointments are released next week on Thursday, K through 12 teachers, childcare workers, and school staff will be eligible to sign up at all 170 vaccination sites that are open to all general residents around the Commonwealth.," Baker said in a news conference Wednesday morning.
"Additionally, the Command Center will designate specific days and mass vaccination sites for educators to get their shots."
More details on the specific days for teachers will be released soon.
"Now everybody's still playing more or less by the same rules," Baker said. "And if you're eligible in Massachusetts, you're still eligible in Massachusetts to use CVS, Walgreens and the other retail pharmacies, but they're adding as we're planning to do as well, educators to that community."
State legislators and the Massachusetts Teachers Association had been pressuring Baker to set aside some coronavirus vaccines for teachers and school staff. The Baker administration wants to get all students back in classrooms by April, starting with elementary school kids.
Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you're eligible and to book an appointment, or call the hotline at 211.
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