CONCORD — NEA-NH is calling on Gov. Chris Sununu to explain why ski patrol staff are being prioritized for the Phase 1a allocation of the COVID vaccine ahead of New Hampshire educators.
According to the NH Region Ski Patrol, ski patrol staff can receive the COVID vaccine during Phase 1a, ahead of educators who are slated to receive the vaccine in Phase 2, or by March.
However, according to section 153-A of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services, the definition of emergency medical care provider “shall not include lifeguards at swimming facilities or members of ski patrols, or New Hampshire fish and game department conservation officers, unless said individuals are performing invasive patient care procedures.”
New Hampshire is one of only two states — along with New Jersey — that will not vaccinate educators by Phase 1b — in defiance of CDC guidelines that say Phase 1b of the vaccine rollout should prioritize frontline educators.
A letter from the New Hampshire Region Ski Patrol indicates the organization pushed for Sununu to include ski patrol in Phase 1a of the vaccine rollout after Sununu claimed that he hadn’t “heard from any individual groups, whether it be teachers or whatnot,” asking to be in the first phase.
“Chris Sununu left our educators and school staff behind before when he punted all responsibility for safely re-opening schools. Now, he’s leaving them behind again,” said NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle. “We are calling on Governor Sununu to follow the lead of other states and prioritize vaccinating our teachers with high-risk first responders.”