BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – School educators and staff will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning February 1 under the state’s 1B phase.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine said 96% of the state’s public schools are committed to returning to some form of in-person learning by March 1.
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools returned to the classroom Tuesday. Superintendent Dr. Doug Cozad said they’ve been lucky all year and have been able to stick with the blended and in-person learning model.
Cozad said the district has been working with the Greene County Public Health to develop a vaccination plan.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Cozad said. “We have probably 60 to 70 percent of our staff that is wanting to get the vaccine.”
Districts will have the option to choose a retail pharmacy or a local partnership to get the vaccine, and will partner with their local educational service center to work out the logistics.
“We’ll give that information back to the Ohio Department of Health, the governor’s office, so that the appropriate connections can be made so we can effectively and efficiently get the vaccination into the arms of those choosing to take it in the K-12 system,” Montgomery County Educational Service Center Superintendent Shannon Cox said.
Vaccinations would be done in closed clinics so school staff would not be competing with the others in Phase 1B.
Cozad said he’s concerned there’s not enough vaccine available.
“Based on the amount they’re getting in right now, it’s going to be 10, 12, 14 weeks before we get all our staff vaccinated,” Cozad said.
Cox said as long as the supply chain increases, and a third vaccine comes on the market, a March 1 goal to return to school could happen.
“Getting a more effective rollout plan than what we had three days ago, which was not much, I am a little more hopeful today, and I’m sure as this goes on, I’ll be more hopeful each day,” Cox said.
Cox said of now, it’s up to each district to determine who is eligible for the vaccine based on employees who are essential for the school to function.
DeWine said more details about the school 1B vaccination plan will be released next week.