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Domestic Workers Seek Inclusion In Phase 2 Of Vaccine Rollout

A group that advocates for domestic worker rights is seeking earlier vaccine eligibility for the state's roughly 14,000 nannies, au pairs and house cleaners.

According to the Matahari Women Workers' Center, those domestic workers will become eligible in phase three of the Baker administration's vaccine plan, with the general population, while many essential workers are due up later in the current second phase.

An open letter the center posted on its website, addressed to Gov. Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, notes that a majority of domestic workers are women of color, and that they "have little to no control over exposure to the virus in our employers private homes."

The group is asking that nannies and au pairs be considered as part of the group of educators and child care workers that will be able to book vaccine appointments next week.

The state website that breaks down what vaccination phase specific groups fall into currently carries a note advising, "Additions and further clarification of the list of specific occupations and groups is paused at this time."

The note says that the COVID-19 Command Center will resume reviewing groups for eligibility "after we have launched eligibility for individuals 65+ and individuals with 2+ certain medical conditions and 2) once additional supply of vaccine from the federal government has been significantly increased."

People age 65 and older and those with two or more comorbidities became eligible to schedule vaccine appointments on Feb. 18.

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