CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- 400,000 Massachusetts educators and school staff became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, leaving workers in other industries wondering when it'll be their turn.

Throughout their workday, hairdressers come in close contact with several people. One local salon owner told Western Mass News while she's patiently waiting for her shot, she understands why she's not higher on the eligibility list.

"If I have to wait another month or two to get the kids back in school, that's fine with me. That's how I feel," said the owner of Chicopee's Spruce Salon, Carolyn Rettura.

Hairdressers aren't expecting to become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine any sooner than the general public, and that rollout isn't estimated to begin until at least April.

Rettura told Western Mass News there's no way around the close contact hairstylists have with their clients, and while they feel safer than they did when salons first reopened, things still don't feel quite the same.

"Do I want life to go back to normal? Yes, I do. It's a different business now because it's not as personal anymore with the masks. Your hair is not as much of a priority as it used to be," she explained.

She also said that business has been slower over the last year following a rush when they first opened back up. But she's hoping for a change of pace with the vaccine rollout.

"There's no weddings, proms, parties. That's what keeps us going. We have our regular people that come in for our haircuts, but it's all that other fun stuff that makes it the beauty business that we don't have right now," she noted.

When her time comes, she's ready for her shot.

"Sign me up. I'm going to get it. I want life to go back to normal, and I think that's the only that's the quickest way to it," she said.

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