TEANECK, New Jersey — In a Jan. 14th letter to New Jersey’s commissioners of health and education, the OU’s Teach NJ called on the state to re-prioritize educators in its COVID-19 vaccination distribution. Teach NJ is a nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of New Jersey nonpublic schools.

Yesterday the state expanded access to the vaccine for vast groups of individuals. Anyone over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions – including an estimated 2 million smokers statewide – are able to get vaccinated now. Educators were not included in this expansion and are still waiting to gain access.

The letter represents thousands of education professionals who qualify under the 1B classification.

“In-person instruction is critical for the children of New Jersey and their educational and emotional development. It is also essential to repair the economy, as parents must return to the workforce. This is a notion that Governor Murphy has repeatedly supported long before schools reopened in the fall. Prioritizing teachers and staff will ensure that schools can continue to remain open by allowing our educators to be vaccinated now,” Dan Mitzner, the director of state political affairs for Teach Coalition, wrote in the letter.