COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Beginning Monday, February 1, 500 schools across the state of Ohio will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to their teachers, staff, and other adult employees.
In Northeast Ohio that includes schools in Mahoning, Medina and Summit Counties.
Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health have laid out a plan to offer the vaccine to 91,000 school employees on a rolling basis over the month of February.
DeWine’s goal is to give the first dose of the vaccine to all school workers by March 1st so that students can return to the classroom.
“The schools and the school personnel are really being put at the front of the line for the sole purpose of getting kids back in school, keeping kids in school, for all the reasons that we have talked about and how very, very important this is. So the school personnel are really, will be in front of 11 or so million of their fellow Ohioans,” DeWine said at his Thursday press conference.
Each district is working with local vaccine providers.
School employees should look to district leadership for instruction on where and when they can receive the vaccine.
The biggest road block to DeWine’s plan is the shortage of vaccines.
The state is still administering vaccine to older Ohioans and others who are eligible as part of Phase 1B. Every week about 100,000 vaccines are going to the elderly and the remaining 55,000 are given to school employees.
Starting next week, Cuyahoga and Stark Counties will begin giving the vaccine to school staff.
The following week Ashtabula and Portage Counties join the list and then Lake, Lorain and Geauga Counties will start on February 22nd.
Right now, about 46% of districts in the state are in person, a recent increase. 17% are fully remote, including many in Northeast Ohio and the remaining schools are in a hybrid model.
The vaccine is available to all schools, public, private, and charter. According to the governor, all public schools in the state have signed on to offer the vaccine, except one located in the Dayton area.