Michigan Teachers Overwhelmingly Want Virus Vaccine
22 thousand Michigan school teachers, members of the Michigan Education Association, are responding to a union survey about COVID-19. 90 percent say they want to be vaccinated. The MEA poll shows many, up to one-third of that group, are still waiting to begin the two-dose vaccination process.
Early estimates in Calhoun County put the number of educators and staff who planned on getting a vaccination a bit lower at around 70%. Wide fluctuations are not unexpected based on location, and whether support staff is included in general surveys compared to the specific MEA poll.
Just under 7% of the MEA union teachers say they don’t want to be vaccinated and another 6 percent are indicating they aren’t sure what to do yet.
There is some level of frustration being voiced by teachers over the vaccination process. About 20% say they haven’t heard from their employer about scheduling yet. Maybe even more telling is that out of those who have received at least their first dose of a vaccine, just over 60% say they did their own scheduling.
MEA President Paula Harbart says the numbers are telling. “Our members see the vaccine as a critical component to reopening classrooms across the state, along with continued mitigation measures like masks, social distancing and sanitization. They are following the science and are embracing the vaccines’ potential for protecting their health and safety, as well as that of their students. While thousands of educators are still waiting to be scheduled for vaccination because of the short supply of the vaccine, these results show a great deal of progress.”
The MEA figures are notably higher in key areas compared to a national teacher survey just released by the National Education Association. That report shows only 18% of K-12 teachers nationwide had at least begun the vaccination process.