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Leon School Personnel 65 And Older Slated For COVID-19 Vaccines Saturday

The front windshield of a bright yellow school bus fills the frame of this photo.
Photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash

Leon County School employees 65 and older will have an opportunity to get vaccinated Saturday. The district worked with schools and the department of health to compile a list of eligible employees.

“We have going on…about 160 individuals, including all our 65 and older population [in] transportation, nutrition services, teachers...everyone in that population," district health services coordinator Terri Anderson told the Leon County School Board Tuesday.

Anderson said approximately 15-20% of eligible employees had already received their first doses since the vaccine came available to seniors.

The district says employees wanting vaccines should contact their supervisors.

Superintendent Rocky Hanna has pushed for teachers to be in the first group vaccinated against COVID-19. He recently expressed disappointment when some local churches, Florida State University and Florida A&M University received vaccines to administer to people over 65.

Florida hospitals began receiving vaccines in mid-December with a goal of inoculating frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Doses were also given to CVS and Walgreens to administer the shots in nursing homes. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced earlier this month that seniors would be next in line for vaccines and that job would mostly fall to local health departments. Hospitals with doses left over were also directed to distribute them to people 65 and older.

Those health departments have struggled to keep up with demand even as other sites, such as churches and universities get vaccines to help distribute them. There are also more seniors in the state than there are COVID vaccines. Still the state has not yet used up its current supply and more are on the way. The state has called up additional healthcare workers to supplement local department of health efforts.

The district is also again revising the way it updates its coronavirus dashboard. Hanna says he's received complaints that the numbers listed on the district's website don't match numbers schools are reporting directly to parents.

It's a function of when information comes in, he says, noting that schools don't report after hours, but that if cases are confirmed when school is out, those numbers become public the next day. To address concerns, the district's emails will now include notes explaining when and how the COVID dashboard is updated.

"We've got nothing to hide," Hanna said.