OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The school year is quickly nearing but COVID cases are once again on the rise. Douglas County Health Director, Dr. Lindsay Huse, says teachers should get vaccinated.
"Absolutely teachers should be vaccinated. Not just teachers but anybody who is going into a school building. Staff going into the building, janitorial staff, volunteers who may be coming in to work with the children, anyone interfacing with the school system and with students should be vaccinated," Huse said.
Doctors say because of the age of eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, teachers who are unvaccinated can put their students at risk.
"The only kids that can get vaccinated against COVID-19 is 12 and above. Pfizer, right now, is telling us that we’re looking at kind of mid-winter, like, end of winter in order for us to have kids that are younger able to get vaccinated. I really have been pushing my teachers and parents to get vaccinated," Dr. Shannon Godsil, a general pediatrician at Children's Physicians Val Verde said.
She added that schools are breeding grounds for any type of virus. Godsil said transmission rates are most likely higher than many believe because COVID symptoms in kids can often be very mild or present themselves like other familiar viruses.
3 News Now reached out to local school districts and asked about their rate of vaccinations. While some schools say they don't collect that data from their employees, they do encourage everyone eligible to receive the vaccination.
Papillion La Vista Public Schools says over 90% of all their employees are vaccinated. Gretna Public Schools says at least 70% of their teachers are vaccinated as well.