UFT President Michael Mulgrew announced Sunday that the union had reached an agreement with major healthcare systems to expand the access of eligible UFT members to the coronavirus vaccine.
Under the agreement, the UFT will survey all its members to develop a list of those who want the vaccine immediately and will prioritize teachers currently teaching in-school.
The union will then coordinate with the participating health care institutions to ensure that teachers and other members willing to be vaccinated can do so as soon as possible at convenient locations in the metropolitan area.
"Thousands of vaccine doses sit idle, or are even wasted, as the current system leaves health care providers waiting and hoping for eligible recipients to show up," Mulgrew said. "We are creating a pool of members who opt-in, who want the vaccine, and then will match them to providers who have vaccines available."
UFT members will get an email Sunday night asking those who want the vaccine to sign up for the program.
UFT school nurse chapter Cynthia Bennett was first in line to receive her vaccination. She said it was easy and "the most efficient way to combat this terrible pandemic."
When asked if the union will be making this mandatory, Mulgrew said no, and that's it all based off one's comfort level.
He said he understands why so many parents are not comfortable sending their children back to the classroom and hopes that the vaccination program will help ease those concerns.
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