90% of staff opts to receive vaccine provided by school district

Jackson Queen, Co-Editor-In-Chief

As the release of COVID-19 vaccines roll along, it comes time to distribute the vaccines to our country’s teachers. Our educators have risked their lives to provide education for the next generation and are applauded for such efforts. Phase 2 of the U.S.  Government’s vaccination plan has commenced, and vaccines are now getting in the hands of these teachers.

On Jan. 27, the Tallmadge City School District was presented with the information that they will be one of the first teachers in the state to receive the vaccine from Akron General Hospitals.  Tallmadge school employees that have consented will be vaccinated with the first dose Feb. 3 at their assigned time slot. 

The recipients for the vaccine were established by the Governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Health. There are four providers in the County assigned to distribute to school and one of them is Children’s hospital. They were assigned us, and we already use them for our school nursing services. The county is divided up into four rounds of first dose. Each provider has one District per week in the roll out. We were fortunate to be selected for round one Wednesday (Feb. 3),” Former Superintendent Jeff Ferguson said.

Vaccinating our teachers is one of the many steps we need to take to start opening schools up for everyday class. Being able to vaccinate our teachers provides another layer of protection from the virus within Tallmadge Schools.

I believe the vaccine is another level of protection in our plan along with masking, hand washing, social distancing that will help us get to our goal of all students back in school this year,” Ferguson said.  “Hopefully the number of cases will go down as we get to Spring. That would also impact our ability to return all students from the hybrid plan.” 

Tallmadge Schools had one of the highest percentile of teachers who signed up for the vaccine in the county. 

“Ninety percent of our teachers and staff agreed to get the vaccine. That high of a number shows the commitment of our staff to their students. I hope it also sends the message we want to help do our part to defeat this virus,” Ferguson said.

Being able to show that the vaccine is safe is a priority in the U.S. and being able to vaccinate as many people as possible is the main goal.

As teachers across the nation receive their vaccines, they also set examples for their students and their families. According to Cleveland Clinic, “The estimate for COVID-19 is that roughly 50 to 80% of the population will need to be vaccinated to reach the herd immunity threshold.” 

Teacher Joni Giles opted to receive the vaccine.

“I believe, at one point, there’s going to be a vaccine available for [the students]. Don’t be afraid to take it,” Giles said. “I am very excited because I don’t want to get Covid, I don’t want it to spread to others, and I want this pandemic to end.”