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Health officials get ready to vaccinate school employees

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 5:59 PM EST
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Health officials are preparing for an upcoming kickoff vaccine clinic for school employees.

Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts are partnering with Carilion Clinic for a vaccine distribution event next Friday, January 22nd.

COVID-19 vaccines will soon be going into the arms of those who work for school systems in the Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts.

“We hope that this is the beginning of what the future holds in terms of us working together to try to optimally offer vaccines opportunities,” Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, said.

Superintendents from Botetourt County, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem will all help host this clinic for employees of public and private K-12 schools.

“We’re just so grateful for everyone working together to make this happen. Our staff members will feel so much safer to have those vaccinations, so this is a huge step forward I think for public schools and our students,” Dr. Ken Nicely, Superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools, said.

Carilion staff will be giving the vaccines and the health districts will provide staffing and the location, which Morrow says will be at either the Salem Civic Center or the Berglund Center. The goal is to vaccinate around 2,000 people next Friday.

“It’s not mandatory but certainly strongly encouraged, so that is a personal choice, but we have found so far that the vast majority of our staff is definitely wanting the vaccination,” Nicely said.

Superintendent Nicely said around 80% of the staff in Roanoke County has indicated they want the vaccine.

There will be no classes next Friday in these health districts, so officials can focus on vaccinating the employees.

Carilion and the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts are also making plans for separate events to vaccinate those 65 and older in the coming weeks.

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