Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn thought she would be getting ready to get the COVID-19 vaccination along with her staff at the Bright Start Childcare Center.
The week of Jan. 25, St. Hillaire-Finn said, they were supposed to begin registering and setting up appointments.
“Supposed to be'' is the operative phrase. Day care teachers and providers are still in the 1b category for receiving the vaccine, but they’ve been moved down within that category, the mayor announced last week.
“Truth is, if we had more vaccine, they would be included in next week’s round two,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
St. Hilaire-Finn is among those who are more than a little troubled that she and the rest of the city’s 7,000 or so front-line child care workers could end up waiting even longer for their doses.
“Day care, when it was deemed essential, that wasn’t coined easily because there is going to be even a greater need for child care after the economy reopens,” she said.
Pleas have gone out to the mayor and health director. Four members of the D.C. Council have signed off on one letter, and there are petitions circulating as well.
Ward 4 Council Member Janeese Lewis George said that “delaying vaccinations for child care workers any longer undermines fairness, equity and public health.”
Bowser said child care is a continued priority, but without a date certain for when those priority workers can get vaccinated, providers like St. Hilaire-Finn worry for their businesses and the health of customers and staff.
“We on the front line want to be further protected because we have children coming to us from all parts of the city and we, too, have families that we want to go home to,” she said.
News4 is waiting for a response from the mayor’s office.