Teachers’ union wants mandatory vaccinations in MA

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state’s largest union of educators is calling for mandatory vaccinations for all eligible students and staff at public schools and colleges ahead of the start of school.

In a statement Tuesday, the MTA said with COVID cases rising and the delta variant spreading, mandatory vaccinations are a must.

“By taking this step, the MTA continues to play a lead role in advocating for what we all want the most: to be in our classrooms with our students in a safe environment,” said Merrie Najimy, President of the MTA.

Governor Charlie Baker has said the state was working with school districts leading up to the start of school on vaccination clinics for those eligible.

The state has also provided COVID-19 pooled testing to those interested.

Backpack drive

Tuesday morning, the Back-to-School Distribution is scheduled to take place at The Salvation Army Boston Kroc Center, 650 Dudley Street in Dorchester.

Thousands of students will receive backpacks stuffed with clothes and this year, the event will double as a vaccine drive, according to organizers.

Universal masking K-12

Two medical groups, the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts Academy of Family Pediatricians want universal mask-wearing in K-12 schools this fall.

“By introducing a statewide indoor masking policy for K-12 students consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics, the Commonwealth reaffirms its commitment to keeping all of our schools open and our students and staff safe,” said Massachusetts Medical society President Dr. Carole Allen and Dr. Julie Johnson, President of Massachusetts Academy of Family Pediatricians.

Governor Baker has said masking policies are decisions to made at the local level.