Dear Gov. Sununu:
I am a teacher at Keene High School, in Keene and SAU 29. Along with many other teachers, I signed a letter written to you by our Superintendent Rob Malay advocating for educators and school personnel to be vaccinated against the virus.
I recently listened to you on TV make the statement that science does not support the evidence that schools are a major source of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Are you kidding me? We have been bouncing in and out of the schools teaching between hybrid and remote models, depending upon the numbers of active COVID cases in our buildings.
I have read the document N.H. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Plan (of Oct. 30, 2020, at www.dhhs.nh.gov). It is quite the document, and confusing, as you need to click on many embedded links for answers. On pp.12-13, the four-phase approach to vaccine allocation is clearly defined, including a graphic. Page 16, Section 5.G, states “ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine is central to New Hampshire’s vaccine planning efforts. Through established communication methods in previous efforts, continuous external stakeholder feedback, along with current expert planning, will assure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.”
Governor, I have a question for you. How can you support ski patrols and instructors being given tier 1 priority over classroom educators, now that it has come to light? The reason given by Jake Leon (spokesman for N.H. DHHS) is lame. He stated that “they are required to provide immediate emergency medical care.” When you, governor, were questioned about this position you stated “ski patrollers are seen as frontline medical workers and merit getting vaccines as soon as possible.”
Note ski instructors and patrol are eligible whether they are a New Hampshire resident or not, as long as they patrol New Hampshire slopes! I will try to set aside the fact that your family owns Waterville Valley ski resort as I try to wrap my head around this grossly unfair position. As a teacher in a New Hampshire public classroom, I have never felt more unappreciated and worthless than I do now.
My friends and colleagues in my hometown in Essex County, N.Y. (the Adirondacks) have already been vaccinated against this virus — administered right there in the school. What is our problem here in New Hampshire, governor? I would think that you have the power to make a change, and should.
DEBA M. ROBARGE