More than 80,000 Ky. school personnel and teachers sign up for COVID-19 vaccine
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - Kentucky schools opened unevenly across the state, with some returning to in-person learning as others delay the decision. But the COVID-19 vaccine could push students back to the classroom sooner than expected.
The Kentucky Department of Education tells WSAZ that 82,158 people of public and private K-12 educators and support staff indicated they wanted to receive the vaccination, and it’s a number expected to rise.
Any personnel in public schools, including, full-time and part-time workers plus coaches, were offered the vaccine, depending on the district individually.
“I think we’re seeing that number climb, as well. We’re not seeing adverse effects or large-scale reactions to the vaccine, so I think there is a greater trust and willingness,” said Commissioner Jason Glass of the Kentucky Department of Education. “We are starting to see others now come forward who decline it, but now want it.”
In a statement, KDE said it anticipates all those K-12 staff who indicated they wanted the vaccine to receive their first dose by Feb. 5.
Every school system WSAZ contacted said it has only administered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and some districts reported they were still awaiting their first dose.
|School System||School Employees||Number who request a vaccine||Number vaccinated|
|Russell Independent||321||206||Event planned for 1/30/21|
Ashland Independent, Fairview Independent, Raceland Independent, and Paintsville Independent did not respond to our request for information.
With an overwhelming majority of teachers and school personnel wanting to receive the vaccine, Commissioner Glass believes students could return to in-person learning full time as early as the spring.
“I think it’s reasonable to say March or April, but I would err on the March side if not earlier, depending on when educators get their second dose,” Glass said. “In Kentucky, many of our schools have been back to learning in-person regarding a couple of interruptions, and this experience is going to make them safer.
Gov. Andy Beshear echoed Glass’s anticipations for students to return to in-person learning for the spring.
“I won’t need an executive order because people are ready to go back to school. But what we will do is change our guidance,” Beshear said.
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