OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday, two Omaha City Council members and two local school board leaders called for some of the leftover 10% of Douglas County’s allocated COVID-19 vaccines to be set aside for teachers. An online petition for the push has also been launched.
During Phase 1B of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, 90% of vaccines allocated to health departments in the state are to be administered to the elderly and those most vulnerable. The other 10% are to be given to members of "area infrastructure" at the local health department’s discretion.
In a letter to Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour, Omaha City Council members Brinker Harding and Aimee Melton made the appeal. They are joined in the appeal by Millard School Board Member Mike Kennedy and Omaha Public Schools Board Member Spencer Head.
They say health departments across the state have already begun setting aside doses for teachers but not, to their knowledge, in Douglas County.
To keep schools and education going, they say the Douglas County Health Department needs to take action.
“In order to keep our schools open, we must ensure that school employees have priority access to the vaccine. Douglas County has over 115,000 K-12 students whose education cannot afford further disruption this school year. Prioritizing vaccine doses for our teachers is one way to ensure that our buildings stay open and our students continue to learn. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control recommends that educators be part of the Phase 1B group for Covid-19 vaccinations. We ask that you work with local school officials to develop a plan to prioritize vaccinations for educators as part of the discretionary portion of the vaccines.”
Dr. Adi Pour says, at this time, no educators in Douglas County have received the vaccine unless they fall into another category such as age.
The 10%, which is about 700-800 doses a week, is currently going to utility, corrections and homeless shelter workers. Educators will be vaccinated after that under the current plans.
"The allocation for educators will follow a fair and equitable distribution across Douglas County, including public, private and parochial school districts," Pour said in an email. "The prioritization among school districts and schools is being developed by the Superintendents together with DCHD."
You can find the petition at https://rallycall.io/campaign-details/Support_Vaccinations_for_Douglas_County_educators_and_school_staff_1613336691