Dougherty, Lee Co. school leaders discuss vaccination of teachers

Dougherty, Lee Co. school leaders discuss vaccination of teachers

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -Georgia’s state school superintendent announced he’s formed a group to discuss how to vaccinate teachers and staff when vaccine doses become available.

Dougherty County Superintendent Kenneth Dyer was asked to be part of that group.

“Superintendent Woods asked me to serve on the working group to address a strategy for distribution of the vaccine for educators throughout the state,” said Dyer.

Dyer says that those working group meetings are being scheduled now and they are looking at holding them within the next two weeks.

“I look forward to providing insight to others throughout the state and getting insight from them as to how to make sure that all of our educators are vaccinated as soon as they possibly can,” said Dyer.

Dougherty County Schools are set to return to in-person learning on February 8.

Dyer says when they are back in school, they will continue to follow CDC guidelines.

Both Dyer and Lee County Assistant Superintendent Kevin Dowling agree the elderly, frontline workers, and people who are dealing with COVID-19 on a daily need the vaccine.

Kevin Dowling, Assitant Superintendent
Kevin Dowling, Assitant Superintendent (Source: WALB)

“You have a lifesaving vaccine who goes first?” said Dowling.

But as Lee County Schools are back to in-person learning, getting the teachers vaccinated is a priority.

“In a lot of the cases these teachers are like second parents they care deeply about what they’re doing, but they also know that it’s a dangerous situation,” said Dowling.

Shannon Weeks, Lee County Nursing Coordinator, says she gets calls from teachers often.

Shannon Weeks, LCSS Nursing Coordinator.
Shannon Weeks, LCSS Nursing Coordinator. (Source: WALB)

“Several teachers a day contact me to find out when it’s their turn when they’re going to be included. They really want us to set up a clinic here for them to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available,” said Weeks.

She says even though they are conducting in-person learning, getting the vaccine would make teachers feel more confident in going back to school.

Superintendent Dyer says they are already having discussions with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany Area Primary Healthcare, and the Georgia Department of Public Health about vaccines so that when tier 1B starts, they are ready.

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