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Leon County Schools Superintendent: District Needs Employee Vaccination Plan

Leon County Schools
Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna says the district's employees older than 65 ought to get priority for the coronavirus vaccine.

Teachers, bus drivers and school support staff older than 65 in Leon County could soon get prioritized to receive the coronavirus shot.

Leon County Schools will soon start working with the local health department on a plan to administer the vaccine to its older employees.

Florida A&M and Florida State University have received doses of the coronavirus vaccine and are setting appointments for staff older than 65 this week. But no plan for vaccinating school district employees has been put in place.

During a conference call on Monday, the district’s Superintendent Rocky Hanna asked local leaders why school staff older 65 haven’t been contacted for a vaccine appointment as local universities schedule appointments for its older employees. “If FAMU and Florida State and Bethel Baptist Church are being prioritized, then our school system needs to be prioritized.”

Claudia Blackburn heads the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Leon County. She says limited staffing has been a barrier to implementing a vaccination in the county's K-12 schools. “The health department actually provides the school health support. We’re already using all those folks to the max,” Blackburn said. “It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

During the meeting, Blackburn promised Hanna the department would follow up with the district this week to create a plan for prioritizing school staff.

But first, they must identify how many district employees meet the age requirement to qualify for the first round of vaccines, she said. After that, they’ll identify how the schools will go about administering the doses.

“We can look at the vaccine that’s coming and schools’ ability to vaccinate people,” Blackburn said. “We certainly want to make sure your 65 and older folks are vaccinated.”