MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Education Association is urging the Alabama Department of Public Health to make educators a priority when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.
AEA said in its letter to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris that it’s unacceptable that educators were bumped down on the list to receive the vaccine.
“This is unacceptable and will lead to more education employees lost to this terrible disease,” AEA Associate Executive Director Theron Stokes wrote.
Montgomery Public Schools officials confirmed that four employees died within a 48-hour period this week. The exact cause of each MPS employee’s death has not officially been released.
AEA officials said that the roll-out of the vaccine shouldn’t prevent educators from receiving the vaccine under Phase 1B.
“While I understand that the roll-out of the vaccine has been affected by lower-than-expected supplies, this should not prevent education employees from receiving the vaccine under Phase 1B of ADPH’s vaccination plan,” Stokes wrote.
“When educators in Montgomery are dying, that automatically makes it a top priority,” Stokes added.
AEA officials said the only way to slow the spread of COVID-10 is to provide for widespread vaccination of education employees.
Officials are also urging for MPS to reevaluate its safety guidelines following the deaths of the four employees.
ADPH says it’s still working to speed up the vaccination rollout.
According to ADPH, Alabama receives around 50,000 to 60,000 doses of vaccines each week. While the state has over 800 providers who can administer vaccines, it does not have enough vaccine to go around.
“It simply has to do with the supply of vaccines we get,” Harris said.