School staff vaccination plans postponed

By Zoë Strickland, Staff Writer, Sonoma West Times & News, February 2, 2021

SCOE

Plan to begin vaccinating certain school staff postponed following a shift in county vaccine priority

Following the announcement from the county of Sonoma that it would be prioritizing getting those age 75 and older vaccinated, the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) announced Friday, Jan. 29, that its plan to begin vaccinating school staff age 65 and older was postponed. According to SCOE, it had planned the first school staff vaccinations to occur the week of Feb. 1.

“We understand the county’s need to prioritize our most vulnerable population, but are very disappointed in receiving this last minute notice after we had already scheduled and raised the hopes of hundreds of school staff in our community,” Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Herrington said in a statement. “This is another example of the type of setbacks and changes in guidance that schools have faced throughout this pandemic.”

After getting notice on Jan. 28 that schools had been allocated around 1,100 vaccines for next-week vaccinations, SCOE booked over 500 appointments for school staff aged 65 and older. Then, on Friday afternoon, it received notice that the vaccines would no longer be available.

In an announcement Friday, Herrington said that SCOE staff will continue to work to be ready for when vaccines are available, so that teachers can safely get back into the classroom.

The announcement from SCOE noted that it’s currently unclear when it may get the go-ahead to start school vaccinations, and that the timeline is largely dependent on when the county is able to finish vaccinating its over-75 population.

In the meantime, SCOE encouraged school staff who are over the age of 75, and therefore within the county’s currently vaccine priority list, to try to sign up for a vaccine through their health provider or through the county’s OptumServe vaccine pilot program.

This article was produced by Sonoma West Times & News, the hometown newspaper of Sebastopol and west county since 1889. See more news at sonomawest.com