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Henrico Schools to Begin Teacher Vaccinations Next Week

Glen Allen High
Glen Allen High School in Henrico County. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Teachers and staff at Henrico public schools could be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the school district as soon as next week, according to a staff email sent by Superintendent Amy Cashwell on Monday.

In the email, Cashwell says HCPS is working with the Henrico Health Department to provide the vaccine to all employees, including, "PREP employees, part-time employees, temporary employees, Adult Education, etc."

Staff was asked about their interest in the vaccine to determine how many doses and nurses are needed according to Cashwell’s email.

The survey includes two questions: How likely is a person to take the vaccine? And what might impact their decision whether to take it?

In a follow-up, the district said they anticipate teachers who are hesitant to get the vaccine may cite several reasons, including but not limited to: pre-existing conditions, feeling like others need it first, or needing more information about the vaccine.

“I can tell you that our county’s health department, in the very near future, plans to hold a virtual information session to share more specifics and answer questions related to the vaccine,” Cashwell’s email says.

Cashwell says HCPS staff may receive the COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week thanks to teachers and other school employees being listed high on Virginia's priority list for vaccinations. 

Gov. Ralph Northam said during a press conference last Wednesday that teachers are part of Phase 1B of the state's vaccination efforts, putting them in line only after frontline healthcare workers and people living in long-term care facilities. He says getting teachers vaccinated is a crucial part of getting schools to reopen statewide.

Phase 1B also makes the vaccine available to other essential workers in areas like transportation, food and agriculture, as well as people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps.

Other cities and counties have already begun to move into Phase 1B of their own vaccination process, including Roanoke and several counties in Northern Virginia.