Teachers look forward to getting vaccinated Saturday

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County will soon let more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, with local educators among those now in line.

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 27, those working in emergency services, food and agriculture (including grocery store employees), child care providers and educators will be eligible.

All eyes have been on teachers, as families wait to learn when many students will be allowed to return to in-person instruction — and doing so is reliant on teachers having access to the vaccine in several districts.

“School employees have been really anxious to get these vaccines to get schools open and get kids back in classrooms, so it’s fantastic news,” Bob Mueller, San Diego County Officer of Education Coordinator of Special Projects, said.

SDCOE and California Schools VEBA will exclusively schedule appointments for transitional kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and staff through a designated website.

“I did log on last night and you were able to put your information in, so you get notified when it’s available for you,” third grade teacher Vanessa Barrera told FOX 5.

She is also the Southwest Teachers’ Association President and said while it is exciting to have access to the vaccine, it still isn’t enough for the union’s standards. “That’s just one layer of safety protection for us,” Barrera said.

Barrera works in Chula Vista; the South Bay is one of the hardest hit areas of San Diego County.

“We have two of the zip codes with the highest cases and that’s a big concern because we know that students are having contact with multiple people at home and then we would come in contact with them,” Barrera explained.

The State of California called for 10% of the vaccine supply to be set aside for education, but San Diego County is setting aside 20% for that portion of the population.

Mueller said that was an impressive move. “California Schools Voluntary Employee Benefits Association really stepped up in partnership with UCSD Health and Sharp Health to provide these sites,” he said.

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