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NOLA Public Schools Is Almost Done Vaccinating Staff, Cutting Timeline In Half

Aubri Juhasz
NOLA Public Schools nurse Venus Parker receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. Jan. 12, 2021.";

All New Orleans public school employees who want the COVID-19 vaccine are on track to receive their first dose by the end of this week, the district said in a press release Tuesday.

Nearly 3,000 of the district’s 8,000 eligible employees had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through the district’s partnership with local healthcare providers as of Monday.

Officials expected vaccine distribution to take between six and eight weeks but Tuesday’s press release said they were able to cut the timeline in half due to increased availability.

“Our ability to complete this process in just under three weeks is a testament to the commitment of our healthcare partners, schools’ leaders, and school staff,” the press release said.

By partnering with New Orleans Children’s Hospital and New Orleans East Hospital, among others, the district offered teachers vaccine appointments at medical facilities and sent medical professionals to inoculate teachers at select school sites.

Teachers also helped speed up the process by scheduling appointments on their own, rather than relying solely on the district’s partnerships.

In January, more than 5,000 teachers indicated that they planned on getting vaccinated as soon as possible. The gap between expressed interest and district-scheduled vaccine appointments likely means upwards of 2,000 teachers have gotten vaccinated on their own.

Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. will be among one of the last district employees to get vaccinated when he receives his first dose Friday.

The district plans to schedule appointments in April and May for teachers who don’t want the vaccine but said they could be willing to get vaccinated at a later date.

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