Vast majority of school employees fully vaccinated according to latest MEA survey

EAST LANSING — Nearly 90% of Michigan school employees are either fully or in process of being vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an online survey completed by more than 22,000 MEA members.

Beyond the 82.3% who report being fully vaccinated, some educators are still in the vaccination process – 3.6% having received the first of two Pfizer or Moderna shots and another 0.6% having their first shot scheduled.  Another 1.2% still plan to receive the vaccine, with only 7.4% choosing not to be vaccinated and 4.7% unsure.

“These numbers are a testament to the success of Gov. Whitmer prioritizing school employees to receive the vaccine,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “That decision in early January was essential to providing more in-person learning opportunities for students.  MEA thanks Gov. Whitmer for her leadership nationally in getting the vaccine rolled out to front-line workers like our members.”

A survey released March 18 by the National Education Association showed nearly half of educators across the country had received at least one vaccine shot, an increase from a mere 18% in a February survey.

MEA research at the same time showed Michigan outpacing those national numbers, with nearly two-thirds having received at least one shot in early February.

“These numbers are a bright spot as Michigan weathers our current wave of COVID cases. While most educators are vaccinated, most of our students are not and we’re concerned about their safety,” Herbart said. “That’s why MEA supports Gov. Whitmer’s call for a pause to many in-person activities and, further, encourages all school districts, community colleges and universities to make the local decision to switch to virtual learning until this surge subsides.

“We must make the conscious choice, across our communities, to band together and fight this disease by wearing masks, keeping our distance, avoiding gatherings, getting testing and getting vaccinated.  That’s the only way to ensure Michigan students can safely learn in-person – which is how educators want to be working with our students.”

This most recent survey, conducted online from April 9-14, was answered by 22,101 MEA members across the state, including PreK-12 teachers and support staff, higher education faculty and staff, student teachers and school retirees. While not a scientific sample, the responses were geographically representative of MEA’s statewide membership, which includes about 120,000 members spanning every Michigan county.

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