Community agencies partner to vaccinate teachers on first week of eligibility

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Coastal Health District is proving that takes a village to vaccinate a community of educators.

Monday is the first day most of them are eligible to receive the coronavirus shot. After an on-site clinic is finished, Barry Lollis, the executive director of Savannah Classical Academy (SCA), says 80 percent of the school’s staff will be vaccinated.

Dozens of people chose to get it done at the clinic, which was hosted by Coastal Health Partners and Village Walk Pharmacy inside a room at the school.

Some staff members will get vaccinated after recovering from medical issues. Other staff members were eligible for the vaccine after the governor’s previous announcements. Many in the latter group will receive their second dose at a clinic on Friday at Windsor Forrest High School.

SCA says an on-campus site makes it easy for employees.

“Our teachers didn’t have to leave, they didn’t have to take off work,” said Lollis. “Students didn’t have to miss their teachers. They’re out of class 15 minutes after they get their vaccine and then they go about their day.”

The owner of Coastal Health Partners says it partnered with the school to alleviate the burden on the Coastal Health District. He says more than 100 people volunteered to both administer the vaccine and coordinate people with appointments.

“The good news is — working with partners — we’re able to step up and offer some of our staff and coordination to get these vaccinations rolled out a little bit quicker,” said Scott Pierce.

Later this week, Coastal Health Partners is assisting with vaccination efforts at three more schools.

On Saturday, the company is taking a slighlty different approach. Hundreds of staff members and teachers will be vaccinated at a clinic at Hesse Elementary School.

It one of several mass vacciantion clinics happening over the weekend. The Coastal Health District says it is part of a countywide effort to vaccinate educators on their day off.

“Our teachers and school employees play such a critical role in our local communities, and we need to offer vaccination opportunities that won’t disrupt instructional time,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District, in a statement to News 3.

Hospice Savannah is also taking part in the weekend effort.

“Right now, we are in the middle of a pandemic and our way out is to vaccinate,” said Dr. Kathleen Benton, the CEO and President of Hospice Savannah. “So we will absolutely be there to answer the community need once again.”

The Coastal Health District says it has issued thousands of doses of the vaccine to partners that have requested them. Most will be using the Johnson & Johnson version.

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