UFT pushes for member vaccinations with sign-up sheet and healthcare alliances

A major hospital in Indiana rehearses its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine
FILE PHOTO: A sign directs healthcare workers to a rehearsal for the administration of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., December 11, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

The United Federation of Teachers announced an agreement with major health providers to help educators get the vaccine faster based on want and need

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said on Sunday they would be compiling a list of members who have expressed interest in receiving the vaccine as soon as possible and prioritizing those on that list based on those engaged in in-person learning.

“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.”

According to the UFT, this list will help the union prioritize and direct members to healthcare facilities offering the vaccine anywhere in the five boroughs. teachers and other members be receiving emails on Sunday prompting them to sign up for a spot.

Until last week, vaccinations have been reserved for healthcare personnel. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that teachers, police, firefighters, other first responders, and public transit workers as well as adults over 75 could begin getting shots from Pfizer and Moderna.

The vaccine rollout across the state, however, has not been fast enough for the governor’s standards with the recent announcement that healthcare system with a low utilization of their allotted doses would be subject to a $100,000 fine as well as having their allocation privileges taken away by the state.

Cuomo encouraged unions to get involved with have their workforces inoculated, which would seem to be the call UFT is answering.