Chiera: Smokers getting COVID-19 vaccines before teachers sends ‘mixed message’

Regardless of whether New Jersey’s smokers having access to coronavirus vaccines ahead of teachers is akin to “mixing up apples and oranges,” as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy put it Jan. 15, this decision has captured the attention of educators.

“It’s a mixed message from the state,” AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera said in an interview with Yahoo Life writer Korin Miller. “We’re told that we need to get students back in classes and we need to normalize the education system, but we need to do it safely.”

Chiera added, “We understand that smoking is an addiction and that it’s not easy to quit, and that these people are more at risk if they do get the virus. But you can’t say that opening schools is a main priority if you keep moving teachers down the list.”

Chiera also talked about the frustration among the state’s higher education personnel that they are part of Phase 1C of COVID-19 vaccination distribution instead of Phase 1B.

Read Miller’s full story here.