The effort to vaccinate educators continues to be a priority locally and throughout the state.
Many teachers are now getting vaccinated at Lompoc Valley Medical Center. The hospital started administering vaccinations to educators on Thursday and health officials say the need is great.
"We had historically done about 250-300 a day and so because of the relative urgency with this population opening up schools, etc., we decided to go to 450 a day,” Lompoc Valley Medical Center Dr. Naishadh Buch said.
According to Dr. Buch, Santa Barbara County allocated about 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines to educators and child care workers.
TK-12 educators across Santa Barbara County receiving the vaccines were chosen by their districts based on their work in higher-risk settings or with the most vulnerable populations.
“They agreed to manage the list themselves, the prioritization of their staff, and at that point, we just essentially get a list from them at the beginning of the day,” Buch said.
For retired but now-substitute teacher Mary Archer, this vaccine gives her a sense of security when she’s around her students.
"Being with students and the population that's changing, and so it's important,” Archer said.
Santa Ynez Charter School English teacher Jason Naczek has already been back in the classroom for months.
"Our school has been open since November so it's just like I said, an opportunity to help stop the spread and keep everyone healthy,” Naczek said.
Dr. Buch adds that within the next week or two they will start to vaccinate agricultural workers, grocery store workers, and all others who fall into the current vaccination phase.
For educators who are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine, local pharmacies like CVS and Rite Aid are also offering appointments.