Yihyun Jeong

Meghan Mangrum
| Nashville Tennessean

Nashville to schedule vaccines for academics, school staff this week


Nashville hospitals will start to schedule and vaccinate academics and childcare employees this week, metropolis and school leaders introduced Monday. 

Mayor John Cooper and Dr. Alex Jahangir, town’s COVID-19 taskforce chair joined Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Adrienne Battle at a information convention Monday afternoon to announce that town will transfer to part 1B of its vaccine distribution plan. 

The information got here a day earlier than Metro Nashville Public Schools college students in grades pre-Ok to 4 and college students with particular wants are set to return for in-person studying Tuesday.

In latest weeks, Nashville academics have traveled to different counties throughout the state to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than returning to colleges in individual. 

The plan will be comparable to how HCA Healthcare vaccinated cops and different uniformed first responders in December. 

MNPS academics and staff, together with constitution school workers, shall be scheduled and vaccinated by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, whereas TriStar Health will deal with workers at non-public and parochial colleges and daycare facilities. Metro School academics can anticipate to start receiving their first doses by Feb. 20. 

Both VUMC and TriStar are anticipated to contribute their provide of vaccines to assist start the subsequent vaccination part to speed up town’s transfer into the subsequent part of distribution.

The hospitals will vaccinate the estimated 25,000 individuals within the subsequent part on-site, whereas the Metro well being division will proceed to work by means of the waitlist of residents 75 and older at Music City Center earlier than transferring on to embody residents between the ages of 70 to 74. Those people, age 70 and up, shall be in a position to join for vaccine appointments starting Feb. 11.

“Dr. Battle has taken some important steps to get our schools open for in-person learning, now we must do what we can to keep them open by protecting our educators from contracting COVID,” Jahangir stated in an announcement Monday. “This announcement today wouldn’t be possible without the leadership of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and HCA/Tri-Star.

The city expects to receive 11,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week — an unexpected but welcome increase from previous weeks, Jahangir said Monday. He also noted the city expects supply to continue to increase.

Metro Schools employees will receive sign-up information from Vanderbilt Health in the coming days and will be prioritized for vaccines based on the district’s phase-in schedule for returning students to classrooms and whether the employees are working in face-to-face learning environments or remotely, district officials said Monday. 

Jahangir said he was hopeful Vanderbilt could vaccinate all Metro Schools employees who want to get the vaccine in three to four weeks, or even sooner.

Teachers who have already received their first dose will not be able to sign up for their second dose through Vanderbilt, Battle said. They will have to return to where they received the first dose during the prescribed time period. 

Metro Schools students and teachers will be returning in-person on a staggered, phase-in plan, which would allow educators to also stagger when they get the vaccine. Students in grades 5 and 9 return on Feb. 18, grades 6, 7 and 8 return on Feb. 25 and the remaining high school students return on March 3. 

“The vaccine is another important step to keep schools safe,” Cooper stated in an announcement Monday. “I’m grateful to Metro Public Health for efficiently rolling out the vaccine to help avoid the long lines and wait times we’ve seen in other cities. With the help of our hospital partners, we will continue providing a courteous and efficient vaccination process for our teachers.”

Vaccinating academics has been some extent of rivalry for many educators in latest weeks, because the state has pressured districts to reopen for in-person lessons.

Officials final month had stated Metro could be on observe to start vaccinating academics and staff by mid-February with no federal windfall of vaccines. 

In January, Gov. Bill Lee instructed Battle and Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray he believed colleges may reopen by Feb. 15, however each superintendents have requested the governor to commit to prioritizing vaccines for educators of their districts.

During a information briefing final week saying the district’s reopening plan, Battle once more implored Lee to allocate vaccines straight to Metro Schools. 

“If the leadership in Tennessee is serious about keeping staff in classrooms, we need to make vaccinations a priority now. Not just on a chart, but in real life at the moment,” Battle stated through the briefing final week. “So governor, as I asked you last week, please help us keep our great teachers and support staff in the classrooms by getting them the vaccine now. Not a month from now.” 

Tennessee academics have been bumped up on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine precedence listing in December, however what stage counties are in throughout the state have continued to fluctuate broadly due to provide.

The Tennessee Department of Health has accepted Metro Schools, together with at the least 4 different districts, to distribute vaccines themselves if provide is accessible, however the state well being division has circuitously allotted vaccines to any school district. 

The district did obtain phrase from the state well being division Monday that it was accepted for a direct allocation, however district officers did not have additional particulars on when or what number of doses it would obtain.

School board members had organized in latest days to name on the governor to straight allocate doses to Metro Schools and requested Metro Council members to be part of within the effort. 

If Metro Schools does obtain a direct allocation from the state, will probably be as well as to the doses obtainable by means of this partnership with town, Battle stated Monday. If the district receives doses of the Pfizer vaccine, although, it is going to nonetheless have to work with Vanderbilt or Meharry Medical College to retailer and administer the vaccine due to the refrigeration required for the vaccines.

School nurses would possible give you the option to administer and retailer Moderna vaccines on campus, district spokesperson Sean Braisted stated Monday.

Yihyun Jeong covers politics in Nashville for USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee. Reach her at [email protected] and observe her on Twitter @yihyun_jeong.

Meghan Mangrum covers training for the USA TODAY NETWORK — Tennessee. Contact her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.