Tennessee teachers move up in line for COVID-19 vaccines

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — School districts across the state are beginning to prepare for teachers to get vaccinated sooner than expected.

Over the holidays the state announced educators would be moving up in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, now a part of Phase 1B.

“We polled our employees to see what the interest would be so we knew how many doses to ask for from the state when the time comes.  And so far, we’ve had about a 95-percent positive response,” Sumner County Schools Board and Community Relations Supervisor Jeremy Johnson said.

Meaning thousands of shots would be needed to protect the county’s 5,000 employees.

Johnson said the district is working with the state to see when that could be expected. Once it’s delivered, Johnson said it can be distributed quickly.

“We employ some in house health clinics so we do things like flu shots for employees already so we can deploy the vaccine if we received it tomorrow, we could start deploying it as early as Wednesday,” Johnson said.

But even when teachers are protected from the pandemic, some argue it won’t move the timeline up to put students back in the classrooms sooner.

“There are other groups of people there as well and the students who are at the very end of the list to get vaccinated can still carry that back to their families,” Metro Nashville Education Association President Amanda Kail said.

Kail said some students live in multigenerational households that need to be considered when looking at returning to in-person learning.

Districts are expecting to receive more information from the state this week. Johnson predicts Sumner County could have vaccines for its educators by the end of the month.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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