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Northwest Ohio counties prepare to vaccinate teachers

This week educators in Lucas, Putnam and Williams counties will receive the COVID-19 vaccine
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST
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BRYAN, Ohio (WTVG) - Across the state local health departments are preparing to vaccinate educators. The state of Ohio’s K-12 vaccination distribution plan started last week. During week 2, the first counties in Northwest Ohio can begin hosting vaccine clinics. This week, Lucas, Putnam and Williams counties are all scheduled to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers and staff members in all of the schools.

“It provides just a blanket of security now that they know that as they enter into the workforce everyday that they are a little but more prepared to handle what they might be faced with,” says Mark Rairigh, Superintendent of Bryan City Schools.

Each county is taking a mass vaccine clinic approach in an effort to get the highest number of teachers vaccinated in the least amount of time.

In Williams County, the health department is hosting a clinic on Friday in the Bryan High School gym.

“Getting people through the building can be very challenging at times because social distancing is really critical to all of this,” says Mike Schultz, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Williams County Health Department.

Schultz says the health department has been planning for a scenario like this for years. COVID-19 requires social distancing so the spaces hosting the clinics need to be large. After the clinic on Friday, the health department leaders say they have plans in place to roll out additional large-scale clinics as the vaccine becomes more readily available. There are multiple big spaces throughout the county that can accommodate a large number of people, along with safe spacing and parking.

In Putnam County, the health department is contracting out with a pharmacy to administer the shots. They are anticipating 670 educators will be vaccinated during a clinic on Saturday.

In Lucas County, the task is large. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is teaming up with multiple local partners to run a mass vaccination clinic that aims to inoculate 9,000 teachers and school staff from all of the districts in the county. The clinic will run for two days, Friday and Saturday at the University of Toledo.

“I have all the confidence in the world that we are going to make this lift. The sooner we get this done the better off our teachers and staff are,” says Eric Zgodzinski, Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner.

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, contact your local health department. Next week Henry, Ottawa, Paulding, Wood and Wyandot counties begin vaccinating teachers.

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