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ISTA pushing state officials to get teachers vaccinated

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Teachers across Indiana are asking for a fair shot to get their COVID-19 shots.

Indiana is one of the trip priorities for the National Education Association to get more vaccines and prioritization for teachers.

Right now, certain special education staff are eligible to get vaccinated. The Indiana State Teachers Association says it is making districts across the state aware that they can qualify. Other than that, they’re still left without answers from the state.

The association has reached out to state officials and says it has not received a response. The only way they find out any information is every Wednesday during Governor Eric Holcomb’s coronavirus update.

Letters from school districts like Noblesville and Westfield Washington Schools were sent to Governor Holcomb’s office, pushing for teachers to be next in line to get the vaccine. The association says nothing was ever mentioned or done after the letters were sent. They’re now pushing for the state to mimic Kentucky’s plan.

“I don’t think Kentucky has said we’re going to push grandma and grandpa out of the way in order to get educators vaccinated,” Indiana State Teachers Association teacher Keith Gambill said. “They have figured out a system where they are able to do both at the same time. Indiana has that ability and we would like them to work with neighboring states on how they were able to do that.”

More than 85,000 teachers and support staff in Kentucky have received their first dose of the vaccine. The state is set to finish administering the first dose to all K-12 educators this week who want it.

Governor Holcomb has yet to release a plan for teachers.

ISTA created Take Action, an online campaign, at the beginning of February asking the state to prioritize teachers. The response has been overwhelming. Now, they need a plan from the state to put it into place.

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