by Scott McClallen
An online survey of 22,500 Michigan Education Association (MEA) members, the largest teachers union in the state, showed that half had received their first shot.
Of the responding group, approximately 90% responded they want the vaccine. According to the survey:
- 50% have received their first shot
- Another 6.4% have received both doses of the vaccine
- 36.9% were not yet vaccinated or scheduled to do so
- 6.9% of responding school employees don’t plan to get the vaccine, with another 6.3% unsure.
“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,” MEA President Paula Herbart said in a statement.
“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 survey found roughly 20% of MEA members hadn’t heard from their employer about scheduling vaccinations. About 60.7% of those vaccinated or scheduled for vaccination secured their appointment on their own instead of through their employer.
A national survey released today by the National Education Association found just 18% of educators have been vaccinated, MEA officials said.
Other findings in the survey include:
- Looking at county-level data where there were more than 100 responses, rates varied from a high of 88.1% vaccinated or scheduled in Marquette County to a low of 25.6% in Washtenaw County.
- Respondents included educators working in various environments – 46.5% in person, 25.2% hybrid, and 19.8% virtual.
- About 42.2% of school employees expressed safety concerns about in-person learning; 36.5% were somewhat concerned, 13.8% weren’t very concerned, and 7.5% were not concerned.
The survey, conducted between Feb. 2 through Feb. 8, was answered by statewide educators ranging from pre-K-12 teachers and support staff, higher education faculty and staff, student teachers, and school retirees.
The MEA represents about 120,000 members statewide.
The survey results were released as lawmakers attempt to get kids back in school safely and quickly, as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated learning gaps.
The Republican House COVID-19 recovery bill aims to send $363 million to districts that commit to reopening in-person instruction by Feb. 15
Meanwhile, Whitmer has urged schools to offer in-person learning by March 1.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.