School staff in Summit and Medina counties are expected to start getting the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine next week as part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s push to get students back to in-person instruction by March 1.
Medina County experts said the county will start vaccinating school staff on Feb. 4. Summit County expects to start vaccinating school staff on Feb. 6 and 7.
Tuesday, the state released a list of 10 counties that would be getting extra vaccine doses to cover school staff.
Only Summit and Medina counties were included in the first batch of counties from the northeastern part of Ohio.
Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda didn’t know why some counties were picked over others.
“We were not privileged to that information, and I assume it was just random, picking by numbers,” said Skoda. “It’s a big old numbers game with this vaccine because we just don’t have enough.”
Skoda says Summit County is responsible for vaccinating about 1,600 school staff members while the rest of the teachers, front-line workers, and administrators will be vaccinated by other partners, like hospitals and pharmacies.
“It’s kind of divide and conquer,” said Skoda.
Summit County is planning on using its drive-through vaccine model that's been used for front-line workers and residents who fall into the early stages of the vaccine roll-out. Skoda says they can handle about 500-600 people in a day at those locations.
Medina County tells News 5 Cleveland that it’s partnering with Discount Drug Mart to deliver the vaccines.
“All schools in the county will be closed on Feb. 4 due to the countywide effort to vaccinate all educators in a single day,” stated a Medina County Press Release. “Specific information with regard to the reporting of students and staff will be provided by the individual school districts.”
While much of Ohio’s nursing home and long-term care facility staff declined to get vaccinated when they could, Skoda says districts are already reporting that most of their educators will opt in for a vaccine shot.
“We’ve had some district that have told us 90% of their staff want it,” said Skoda. “Others advice said it’s 75 to 80% and that’s excellent."
If you’re trying to sign up for a vaccine, you can find information about your community’s sign up process here.
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