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Local Districts Move Quickly to Get Vaccinations Scheduled for Teachers, Staff

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Fresno’s three largest school districts are moving quickly to help get teachers and staff vaccinated against COVID-19 as additional doses become available for educators starting next week.

On Thursday, Clovis Unified notified employees of its plan to work with health care organizations to set up blocks of vaccination appointment times for those who want the preventative shots.

If the supply of vaccine coming to Fresno County can be maintained, the district expects that all Clovis Unified employees who choose to receive the vaccine will receive their first dose by mid to late March.

Meanwhile, Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson announced in a Facebook post late Wednesday that the district was hammering out an agreement with the Fresno County Department of Public Health, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, and Valley Children’s Hospital for Fresno school employees to be vaccinated at Valley Children’s.

Nelson said the goal is for 2,000 employees to be vaccinated weekly at the Madera hospital.

Central Sets Vaccine Schedule

Central Unified plans to vaccinate more than 1,000 employees next Wednesday and Thursday in a Central East High School parking lot, spokeswoman Sonja Dosti said.

United Health Centers will administer the Moderna vaccine to employees.

“We are grateful to United Health Centers for offering to quickly vaccinate and protect the health of our educators so we can bring our students back to campuses quickly and safely. We have had a great partnership between our district and United Health Centers as they have conducted both COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinics for our employees and community at our Central East High School,” Superintendent Andrew Alvarado said.

According to an employee survey, 88 of Central’s 1,600 employees won’t need a vaccination because they’ve already gotten their shots at another location, while another 422 indicated that they didn’t plan to be vaccinated at this time, Dosti said.

But she said the employees who previously said no are being asked if they have changed their minds since then, so there could be even more people getting vaccinated at Central East.

The vaccinations will be from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Working with Partners

Clovis Unified is partnering with Sierra Pacific Orthopedic Center, Dr. Baz Allergy Institute, United Health Centers, and Valley Health Team to deliver vaccinations, which are free for all staffers, including teachers, food service workers, bus drivers, and administrators.

The district surveyed employees to determine COVID risk, depending on their contact with students and their own health situations, and is prioritizing employees for vaccination depending on whether their potential exposure is high, medium, or low. Appointments will be opened to employees in that order.

Fresno Unified is following up on offers from United Health Centers, Dr. Baz Allergy Institute, and Saint Agnes Medical Center to vaccinate Fresno school employees, Nelson said.

Seeking Approval to Vaccinate at District’s Health Clinic

In addition, Clovis Unified is seeking authorization to provide vaccinations through its health center clinic, Mi-Care. That could start by late March, the district said.

The announcements came on the heels of a weekly briefing at which Fresno County Public Health officials told school superintendents that 8,000 additional doses are coming to the county for school staffers starting Monday.

With those doses plus the 10% of the county’s allotment designated for school and child care workers, all school staffers who want the vaccine could get a shot by the end of the month, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Jim Yovino said.

Right now the state is vaccinating tiers 1A and 1B, which includes health care workers, residents in long-term care facilities, residents age 65 and old, school and child care workers, agriculture and food workers, and emergency services workers. The two tiers include an estimated 15 million Californians, so vaccinations will depend on available supplies.

To be notified when appointments for current and future tiers are available, you can register on the state’s vaccination website, myturn.ca.gov.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email