State superintendent talks vaccines for teachers

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 8:11 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State leaders are working through the logistics of teacher vaccinations after the CDC approved recommendations that school staff get the vaccine.

The state superintendent says plans are still tentative right now, but conversations have started about where teachers would go to get access. Dr. Mackey says he knows state health officials are prioritizing teachers, but he doesn’t know when the roll out will start.

Medical leaders have said from the beginning we don’t have a lot of the vaccine. Dr. Mackey said they want to give priority to teachers who might be at higher risk because of age or underlying health conditions. He’s encouraging teachers who qualify to get access and is hopeful we could see that in the next few months.

“We have talked about vaccinations at schools. We have talked about vaccinations at community sites. So all the people in one county - teachers and bus drivers - might go to a particular place in the county and then we’ve talked about them having to go to a hospital or a central medical staging area,” said Dr. Mackey.

Dr. Mackey says the final decision on logistics would come down to how much of the vaccine the state gets for teachers and what vaccine is available. For example, schools couldn’t serve as vaccination sites for the Pfizer vaccine because buildings don’t have the capability to keep the vaccine at the cold storage guidelines.

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