GENESEE COUNTY, MI — Two large teacher vaccination clinics will bring total teacher vaccinations in Genesee County up to around 60% within the next week, according to the county health department.
One clinic to vaccinate 1,000 teachers was hosted Friday, Feb. 5 at the Genesee Intermediate School District, with another scheduled to vaccinate 1,000 more Wednesday, Feb. 10. The teachers who received or will receive the first round of the vaccine will also have a second dose scheduled.
In late January, each school district was allowed to send 20 percent of their staff to the clinic hosted by the Genesee County Health Department. The clinic was specifically for school staff ages 50 years old and over who have direct contact with students.
For Davison Community Schools, 70 teachers were vaccinated in this first round. Some staff also got vaccinated on their own as well.
“The sooner the better,” Davison schools Superintendent Kevin Brown said. “I really think it helps give people a little bit more peace of mind.”
Davison schools has been conducting in-person class since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. While Brown said COVID-19 case numbers have remained low, it is important to take getting the vaccine and beating the virus seriously.
Brown said the firs clinic was a drive-thru.
“It goes off very efficiently,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive response to the clinics that they’re running. So I think our county health departments doing a great job.”
In the first round 40 doses administered to Clio Area Schools teachers, Superintendent Fletcher Spears III said. The district has 180 employees who have requested the vaccination and 86 are teachers.
He said he was looking forward to the continued clinics to continue getting staff vaccinated.
“Obviously, the ability to obtain a vaccination helps ease the minds of staff who are working with many other individuals on a daily basis,” Spears said.
Flint Community Schools Superintendent Anita Steward sent the following statement in response to a request for comment:
“At Flint Community Schools, we are committed to the health and safety of our entire school community, and we rely on the recommendations of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control regarding appropriate safety measures. As it relates to the COVID-19 vaccine, teachers and staff are encouraged to determine the option that is appropriate for them.”
The city district plans to begin allowing students in the classroom through a hybrid model starting Monday, Feb. 22.
Demand continues to outstrip supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the county with more than 40,000 people now pre-registered for their first dose.
County Medical Health Officer Dr. Pamela Hackert said Thursday, Feb. 4, that the county is continuing to take requests for vaccination appointments, prioritizing those who meet the requirements for Phase 1A or 1B with those aged 80 or older and individuals in groups hit the hardest by COVID-19 — African Americans, Hispanics and Flint residents — also receiving priority.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to see K-12 schools resume in-person learning in the not too distant future.
The governor “strongly encouraged” schools to offer an option for in-person instruction “no later than March 1″ while speaking during a virtual afternoon press conference Friday, Jan. 8. She said the goal is for every student to have the option of face-to-face learning, especially for younger children.
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