COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio continues into Phase 1B of its coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination process, Governor Mike DeWine has announced the schedule for employees at the state's K-12 schools to receive the vaccine.
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“Vaccine is incredibly scarce, and we simply don’t have enough to vaccinate everyone at the same time. Therefore, this will be a rolling process, just like it has been during other vaccination phases, with a goal of administering all first doses by March 1st,” DeWine said in a statement. “This rollout schedule is a heavy logistical lift that aims to ensure the maximum number of people can be vaccinated in the shortest amount of time.”
Vaccinations at schools are set to begin on Monday, Feb. 1, and will continue each following Monday through the month of February. The full schedules can be found via the links below:
The Superintendent of Educational Service Center of Medina County Robert Hlaskso says his county is ready to distribute the vaccine to 3,500 employees. He adds 80% of the staff want to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
"We were able to get this in place and the plans already laid out and the pieces all together to be able to work with our discount provider Drug Mart," Hlasko said.
Medina County schools will be closed Feb. 4 for a mass vaccination of its school staff.
"We didn't want to have to make a choice of which schools go first or which schools go last," Hlasko explained.
Additionally, Summit County schools are also on the list to get the vaccine next week, but not without issue. 3News was told Akron Public Schools were supposed to receive 3,000 first doses of the vaccine, but the district was notified it is receiving only 780, 2,200 short.
News like this has the superintendent of Parma schools, Charles Smialek, still apprehensive about the process. Cuyahoga County is slated to get the vaccine to school staff the week of Feb. 8.
"Until we actually see the right number of vaccines on their way to our school district or a school district near us that has partnered with us, I think we are all going to be sort of walking on egg shells," he said.
However, Smialek says his staff has expressed excitement about the vaccine.
"We anticipate at least 70% of our staff being vaccinated, and I imagine it will actually be higher than that," he said. "It's a sense of excitement because it's one more sense towards normalcy. We are also realistic and we know there are many more steps that we will have to continue to go through to actually return to life as we knew it."
Earlier this month, DeWine announced that employees at all K-12 schools in the state would be a part of Phase 1B of the state's vaccination process with a stated goal of having schools return to either in-person or hybrid learning. Any school participating in the state's vaccination program is required to attempt to return to in-person or hybrid learning by DeWine's target of March 1.
Other groups included in Phase 1B of the state's vaccination rollout includes adults 65 years or older and those with developmental disorders including Sickle Cell or down syndrome.