By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano said he believes the state should “move teachers to the head of the line” to receive their COVID vaccine.

Mariano discussed the state’s vaccination process with WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller, saying Massachusetts “should have been more prepared and have more flexibility in the way we were dispensing the vaccine.”

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Mariano, a former teacher and school committee member, replaced outgoing House Speaker Robert DeLeo in December after nine years as majority leader.

Keller asked Mariano if he believes teachers unions are being unreasonable by encouraging members not to go back to in-person learning.

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“Everyone has their own personal concerns about their health. I can certainly understand a teacher at the tail end of their career having some concerns about their family at home and their exposure to COVID,” said Mariano. “I think it is incumbent on us to move teachers to the head of the line so they have access to the vaccine, and can say with some degree of confidence that they’re protected. They can take the vaccine, still mask up, still practice social distancing, and be relatively sure knowing they’re safe from infection.”

Jon Keller