Mahoning County schools excited to be included in next wave of COVID-19 vaccines

Coronavirus

"The fact that the governor moved us to 1B just shows us how important a teacher's role is"

MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – Governor Mike DeWine released more details about Phase 1B of Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out on Thursday. He said the next wave of vaccines includes teachers and other school administrators. It’s part of his plan to get schools open for full-time, in-person instruction by March 1.

“It was an email that we were really pleased to be able to send. It’s an email that we’ve been waiting to send for a really long time,” said Campbell Schools Superintendent Matthew Bowen.

Area superintendents hope this next wave of vaccines can make face-to-face learning safer.

“The fact that the governor moved us to 1B just shows us how important a teacher’s role is,” said Boardman Schools Superintendent Tim Saxton.

Saxton says they’ve had 30 teachers sign up so far who want to be vaccinated.

“I had one teacher sprint down here and said, ‘I want to be the first one,'” he said.

Only an hour after sending out the email about it on Thursday.

“You can just see there were smiles on people when they were bringing their forms down when they got this email,” Saxton said.

Over in Campbell, Bowen says the response from his staff is positive.

“We’re finding overwhelming more staff are choosing to sign up for the vaccine than not,” he said.

Hoping that this opportunity for school staff and administrators will get schools back to safe, in-person instruction.

“The remote learning experience, although it’s something we’re utilizing and it’s basically a band-aid approach to education right now, it’s definitely not a long-term solution for many students,” Bowen said.

Both superintendents say they’re happy that Gov. DeWine is prioritizing education.

“Many students need to be here. They need to be engaged with their peers. They need to be engaged with our staff,” Bowen said.

Teachers and school staff will begin receiving vaccinations as soon as February 1.

Vaccine distribution for the schools is being handled by Mahoning County Public Health.

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