Teachers, School Staff Now Eligible for Covid-19 Vaccine

As of Monday morning, a new phase of Oregon’s Covid-19 vaccination distribution plan is underway — with K-12 educators and other school staff newly eligible to be immunized as part of Governor Kate Brown’s push to reopen more schools this academic year.

The new wave of eligibility also includes early childhood educators and staff, and child care providers and staff.

Jan. 25 marks the start of “Phase 1b” of the state’s vaccine rollout — which included front-line health care workers, long-term care residents and employees, and first responders.

Brown on Friday had defended her decision to make educators and school staff eligible for the shots ahead of vulnerable seniors — citing the urgent mental, educational and social health needs of students. The vaccine, however, will remain voluntary, and teachers may choose to come back to school without it.

Oregonians age 80 and older will be eligible to get their shots in two weeks, with those 75, 70 and 65 and older coming in later phases that have not yet been scheduled. State officials say it will depend on how many doses Oregon receives from the federal government.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, there are approximately 105,000 educators eligible for their shot. They also estimate there are nearly 800,000 people 65 and up who will need to be vaccinated as later parts of Phase 1b.

The OHA reported Monday that 63% of the 492,450 doses of vaccine that have been delivered to sites across the state have been administered. In Oregon, more than 263,000 have received at least the first shot in the two-dose series, including 23,282 Clackamas Countians.

A spokeswoman for the Canby School District told the Current Monday that they are working with local health providers, the Clackamas Educational Service District and OHA to coordinate vaccination opportunities for teachers and other staff.

Those opportunities will be communicated to staff directly once that information is available, she said.

Likewise, child care workers should expect to hear information from their employer about scheduling a vaccine. The county or a third-party working with the county will reach out to employers of child care workers, as well as in home-providers, to provide vaccine scheduling information.

In a communication Monday afternoon, OHA stressed that employers may not hear from their counties right away.

“We are working hard across agencies to develop the systems and structure needed for the vaccination effort and appreciate your understanding,” the health authority said.

Before scheduling an appointment at a vaccination site or event:

  • Make sure the event or site you plan to attend is open to educators.
  • Check to see if you need an appointment.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • The Covid-19 vaccine will be free. You do not need health insurance.
  • You should receive a vaccination card that tells you when to get your second dose.
  • For more information about the Covid vaccine rollout in Oregon and in our area, visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov and clackamas.us/coronavirus.

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