Kentucky teachers encouraged to get COVID-19 vaccine when available

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 12:00 PM EST
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FRANKLIN CO., Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky teachers could soon start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Governor Andy Beshear said teachers could start receiving shots in early February, but noted that could happen sooner depending on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Kentucky Department of Education has provided an outline to assist districts with preparing for vaccine distribution.

Dr. Connie White, Department of Health deputy commissioner, assured superintendents that the vaccine is safe and has been fully tested. All teachers are encouraged to get the vaccine. However, at this point, they are not required to do so.

In order to receive the doses, districts must put together a roster of teachers and other school employees who plan on getting the vaccine. Teachers who decide not to get the vaccine during the initial round must wait until the vaccine is available to the general public if they change their mind.

The Franklin County School District sent out a survey to teachers to see who plans on getting one.

“From some initial emails that we’ve had, I think there’s a lot of excitement among teachers,” said Superintendent Mark Kopp. “Our teachers want to be back with kids more than anything. Many of us do.”

In Jessamine County, an email sent by Superintendent Matt Moore said employees who want to receive the vaccine don’t have to do anything to be included on the district’s vaccination roster.

If they don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine in the school district employee round, employees have to fill out a form. Moore says those who opt-out cannot be added later and will need to wait until the vaccine is available to the general public to receive it.

Superintendent Kopp says it’s still too early to determine if students will get the vaccine. The vaccine has only been tested in people ages 16 and up. The Department of Public Health plans to give districts more information about vaccinating students older than 16.

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