Teachers are a top priority during next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 00:31:32-05

As vaccination efforts continue throughout the state, teachers and school staff are at the front of the line for the next phase.

Vaccine distribution is a top priority as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb throughout California. For school districts like Lompoc Unified, they look at this as another step closer to be able to bring teachers back into the classroom.

"We are really excited that we are going to be able to get into that Phase 1B where teachers are going to be able to get that vaccine so they can feel safe in returning into the classroom for in-person instruction,” said Superintendent Bree Valla.

Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said Phase 1B of vaccination distribution, which is broken down into two tiers, is set to begin early next month. In that phase, the first out of two tiers include individuals 75 and older as well as educators.

"So people in the education system can expect to start getting vaccinated, child care and so it's teachers, paraprofessionals across the board,” Newsom said.

Districts across Santa Barbara County are already working on a roll-out plan.

"The districts across all the entire county have all agreed that would be best for us all to work together and have a similar rollout,” Valla said.

School officials said by doing this, there will be more consistency across the board and they will be able to administer the vaccines to those who are more vulnerable and have the most exposure.

Lompoc Unified is still in a distance learning model due to the spike in COVID-19 cases over the holidays but district officials said they are optimistic that most of the staff will be willing to take the vaccine once available.

"I received many responses from excited staff who were very eager to sign up and asking for details of what they needed to do so hopefully that's a sign that the majority of our staff is interested in getting the vaccine,” Valla said.

According to the district, plans are still not final and they will continue to discuss who should get those first vaccines during Phase 1B in the upcoming weeks.