EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene School District 4J has gotten the green light to move forward with developing vaccination plans from public health officials, and some staff may possibly begin receiving vaccinations as soon as next week.
According to 4J spokesperson Kerry Delf, various options are under discussion, but some of them could result in district health care workers getting the vaccine soon.
"We have reached out to Lane County Public Health who has given us the green light to use our resources to provide our staff and first responders immunizations," Interim-superintendent Cydney Vandercar said.
According to Delf, under vaccine distribution Phase 1a, district health care workers are qualified to get the vaccine. In December, the Oregon Health Authority moved to classify educators as high-priority essential workers, who will be immunized in Phase 1b.
Getting staff vaccinated is playing an important role as districts decide when to return to in-person learning.
"The sooner you can get kids back into buildings the stronger our hand will be in helping you. The key to that is obviously vaccinating the teachers," said Oregon District 11 Rep. Marty Wilde during a meeting with the 4J school board.
Vandercar said that emails from teachers involved with the local union indicated a strong interest in getting vaccinated before returning to in-person learning.
"They don't want to go back unless they get the vaccine," she said. "I've received no word that someone doesn't want to take it. The only word I've received via email is that they want the vaccine before they go back."
Delf said staff will be notified how to schedule their vaccination when it becomes available.