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ICYMI - WMUR: NEA-NH calls for teachers to be added to Phase 1B of vaccinations

In Case You Missed It, NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle went on WMUR and discussed how under Governor Sununu, New Hampshire is one of only two states that is not vaccinating teachers in Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout. This follows reports that Sununu’s administration is vaccinating members of the state’s ski patrol instead.

Key points:

  • “‘For some reason, educators are not in the priority of the governor’s radar right now,’ said Megan Tuttle, president of the National Education Association’s New Hampshire chapter.”

  • “‘We need to be in an earlier phase for vaccinations. It's the only way we are going to get the schools to reopen safely in New Hampshire,’ said Tuttle, who said New Hampshire is one of only two states not prioritizing teachers in at least Phase 1B.”

  • “But Tuttle said: ‘We're considered front-line responders when it comes to school violence. We're considered first responders when it comes to shootings in schools.’”

  • “Tuttle said NEA-NH has made multiple requests over the last several weeks to meet with Sununu in-person, but she said the governor's office has yet to respond to the group.”

WMUR: NEA-NH calls for teachers to be added to Phase 1B of vaccinations

By Nicol Lally

January 18, 2021 Next week, an additional 400,000 Granite Staters will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. But you won't find many teachers rolling up their sleeves just yet. “For some reason, educators are not in the priority of the governor’s radar right now,” said Megan Tuttle, president of the National Education Association’s New Hampshire chapter. Tuttle is mad, and she says she speaks for educators across the state. “We need to be in an earlier phase for vaccinations. It's the only way we are going to get the schools to reopen safely in New Hampshire,” said Tuttle, who said New Hampshire is one of only two states not prioritizing teachers in at least Phase 1B. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has said the priority is placed on those at the highest risk and those who take care of people at the highest risk of death or serious illness from the virus. “Teachers in themselves do not make up 95% of the fatalities, grocery store workers don't make up 95% of the fatalities,” Sununu said last week during his weekly news conference. “Sixty-five and over, that's 95 % of the fatalities, and that's why those folks have to go first. The governor also going a step further with his reasoning. “Teachers don't provide emergency medical services and aren't required to,” he said. But Tuttle said: “We're considered front-line responders when it comes to school violence. We're considered first responders when it comes to shootings in schools." When it comes to safely opening schools, Tuttle said getting teachers vaccinated is the only clear path. “We can be as safe as we want with hybrid and things like that, but when we are looking at Phase 2, we are looking at educators not getting the vaccinations to start until at least March,” she said. Sununu said last week: “Parents across this state are begging for schools to open up, and they should be open. But it's not the teachers per se, but it's making sure those who are the most vulnerable and the highest risk get to go first.” Tuttle said NEA-NH has made multiple requests over the last several weeks to meet with Sununu in-person, but she said the governor's office has yet to respond to the group.

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