Utah Teachers Now Eligible To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Jan 11, 2021, 5:29 AM | Updated: 8:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah is entering a new phase of the COVID vaccine rollout, focusing on teachers and in-person school and staff.

As of Monday, districts are approved to distribute the vaccine to those employees, and the process will vary depending on the district.

Within Salt Lake County alone, all five districts are working together and using the same rollout protocol. However, those first to roll up their sleeves will depend on age and health.

Each week, the districts in the county will extend invitations to eligible employees in descending age order depending on the number of doses allotted by the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Each district will hold its own clinics.

The Canyons School District will be holding all its vaccination clinics at the Mount Jordan Middle School, which is centrally located in the district. The auditorium in the facility is large and will allow for social distancing. The first clinic is expected to happen sometime this week.

“At this point, it is an all-hands-on-deck effort to get this ball rolling,” said CSD spokesperson Jeff Haney. “As you can imagine, there’s a lot of excitement.”

He confirmed employees will be receiving the Moderna vaccine, and all the clinics will be held in one place after school hours.

“If you teach, if you drive a bus, if you serve a meal, if you clean schools, this vaccination clinic will be for you,” Haney said.

He said that county health officials will relay information on the number of vaccines the district will get each week, and then employees will receive an email inviting them to participate at a specific time.

In Davis County, clinics are starting Tuesday in the Legacy Center. The vaccine will be available to Davis School District employees in their vehicles.

Across the board, teachers and education support professionals are eligible.

The first in line will be those who have been identified as high risk.

From Jan. 15 – 16, those who are age 55 and older can then be inoculated, and the descending age order will continue until Feb. 6.

The letter also states that DSD employees will not get to choose their COVID-19 vaccine.

The Granite School District, which is the largest district in the state, says they tentatively have their first clinic scheduled for Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. District officials said they anticipate receiving approximately 2,300 doses.

Countywide, about 8,000 doses are expected to be made available to the school districts.

Community Nursing Services will be administering vaccines for all Salt Lake County schools, and it will be dependent on their staffing.

Teachers KSL spoke with said they are very excited about getting the vaccine.

“We are excited,” said Mandee Cossa, an elementary school tech specialist in the Granite School District. “The sooner we can get this vaccination and know that we are protected from the virus the stronger we will be as teachers, as schools as a community.”

Carina Whiteside, a middle school teacher in the Jordan School District, said the vaccine will bring some peace of mind because she’s over four months pregnant and the day-to-day stress of wondering if she is going to get the virus has been very difficult.

“Very emotional, very straining. It has led me to draw boundaries with students that I never wanted to draw,” Whiteside told KSL. “I think that will alleviate a lot of the emotional burden that I have felt this year of balancing my safety and my students’ safety as well.”

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Utah Teachers Now Eligible To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine