Douglas County to start administering COVID vaccine to teachers

(Douglas County, NE) -- Educators in Douglas County will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine soon.

On Wednesday, the Douglas County Health Department announced that teachers would be a part of the ten percent of critical infrastructure workers who will get the vaccine.

Douglas County leaders say the vaccinations are possible because of an uptick in doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Phil Rooney with DCHD tells WOWT 6 News, “Was made possible by an increase in the doses that are coming to the county. We got notice last night that we would get roughly an extra 3,000 more doses than we had been expecting."

The vaccine will be allocated based on the student population of each school district. “We’re going to start with K-12 because that would be the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics,” said Rooney. “The superintendents and the administration will prioritize the vaccines based on age and underlying conditions.”

Westside Schools leaders say Wednesday’s news will give their teachers some comfort. While staff are always wearing masks in classrooms, but district leaders say their teachers work in confined spaces and cannot always social distance. “So to know that those vaccines will soon be available is just one more reassurance that we can continue keeping our schools open, we can continue educating and serving kids, and I think it gives everybody a little peace of mind we’re just one step closer to beating this thing,” said Brandi Paul, Westside Community Schools.

Over at Northwest High Schools, OPS officials are also excited about getting the vaccine, the school’s principal says Douglas County teachers should not be the only group of educators eligible for the shot. “Hopefully though they are well aware that this is something that they should do for educators all across the state, not just Omaha Public Schools but they’re taking into consideration for all educators across the state,” said Thomas Lee, Northwest High School.

Teachers at both public and parochial schools in the county will be eligible to receive the vaccine. DCHD says they hope to begin vaccinations for Douglas County teachers sometime next week.

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