TEMPLE, Texas – The Temple Independent School District’s Health Services Department will vaccinate more than 450 employees in response to the federal government’s announcement of school employees being prioritized for vaccination.
“My goal is to do as a school district that we can turn around and say, ‘Hey, we’ve given every single staff member the opportunity to get vaccinated through the school system or through a partnership through the school system.’ If that is something that they choose,” says Superintendent Bobby Ott.
The district promptly contacted the Bell County Health Department to develop a plan of action to make vaccines available to employees on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We still have several employees that have not been vaccinated, so this gives them the opportunity to receive a full vaccination, both doses,” says Dr. Ott.
Employees will be able to schedule a time which works best with their schedule to get the vaccine.
“For example, teachers who may have a conference period, first period, that will work well for them, but maybe bus drivers, that wouldn’t work well for them because they are finishing up their route,” says Dr. Ott.
Beginning March 24th, the district will host a clinic at its administrative offices to dispense 156 doses per week for six weeks to fully vaccinate 468 staff members who want to pursue vaccination. This effort is a second wave of vaccinations for Temple ISD employees.
The district will continue to follow COVID-19 precautions for the remainder of the school year.
“You know, there’s too much to risk. I don’t want to risk an in-person graduation ceremony. I don’t want to contribute to a spike that ends up closing a school, which is something we didn’t have to do this year,” says Dr. Ott.
The district was one of three local districts allotted 350 doses, which would have expired due to cancelled appointments brought on by February’s inclement weather. When the six-week clinic concludes on April 29th, more than half of the district’s staff of 1,300 will be vaccinated.
Source: Temple Independent School District