MSU CAMPUS — Michigan State University is offering 400 in-person classes this semester.
That doesn't give professors any priority when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Some states, like Arkansas and South Dakota, are treating college professors like K-12 teachers when it comes to allocating vaccines. Michigan is not one of them.
“There's a lot of focus on K-12 educators … it’s really important for that group of essential workers to be vaccinated right away so we can keep those schools open especially with the more contagious variant,” said Mid-Michigan District Health Department Health Officer Marcus Cheatham.
Mick Fulton, who chairs the University Committee on Faculty Affairs at Michgian State, says getting left off the priority guidance could have been an oversight.
“The CDC guidelines specifically mention the K-12 teachers so I think that’s why it was missed,” he said.
Faculty at Michigan State aren’t asking to be first in line, he added.
“They thought it was appropriate that K-12 teachers be vaccinated first because they’re in classrooms starting earlier but they are concerned," Fulton said. "They think they should probably be the group after that,” .
Advocates say teachers of all levels should be a priority group.
“We do believe that the interests of the faculty who are teaching in-person classes do need to be a priority. We think they’re similar to the K-12 teachers in that regard,” said Bob Murphy, chief policy officer with the Michigan Association of State Universities.
The organization asked for the state to reconsider vaccination priorities back in December.
“We know that the state’s aware of our request and that they were considering it. We don’t know what they will do at this time, we’re just kind of waiting to hear back,” Murphy said.
MSU Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen says while the university continues to support the association’s lobbying efforts, they know it will be at the discretion of state supply.
In the meantime, faculty and students are still under increased physical distancing restrictions that limit non-essential gatherings on and off-campus after the start of the spring semester brought an uptick in case rates.
Professors will get their chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine at about the same time as anyone else in their age groups.
“It’s coming slower than we thought. I do think it could late March or early April before we finish those 1A, 1B vaccinations,” Cheatham said.
Want to see more local news ? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.