AKRON, Ohio – As early as Monday, Summit County Public Health will give the coronavirus vaccine to teachers and staff at three school districts and 13 private or charter schools, while other vaccine providers will handle the remaining schools and districts, including Akron, the department reported Friday.
The school districts assigned to the county health department are Green Local Schools, Mogadore Local Schools and Nordonia Hills City Schools. The private schools are Eagle Elementary, Imagine Leadership Academy, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Julie Billiart School of St. Sebastian Parish, S.U.P.E.R. Learning Center’s Faith Christian Academy, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Augustine, St. Francis De Sales, St. Hillary, St. Mary Elementary, St. Vincent DePaul, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Steel Academy.
Notably absent is the Akron district, which will receive vaccines from Akron Children’s Hospital, according to district spokesman Mark Williamson.
Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda said during a news conference that the state assigned vaccine providers to K-12 schools as part of its “decentralized” approach to vaccine distribution.
“Some schools were actually assigned to another provider – Children’s Hospital, Drug Mart, a private pharmacy,” Skoda said. “When [the providers] get their amount of vaccine for the schools they’ve been assigned, then they will contact the school and make arrangements to have that vaccine delivered. But we’re planning on doing, depending on the vaccine, we’re planning on doing as many as we can at once.”
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Skoda said the health department is planning on “doing as many vaccines as we can at once,” which could include clinics at schools.
The process of vaccinating teachers with their first dose of the two-dose vaccine could go on for several weeks, depending on the supply. For example, Akron Public Schools is set to receive 780 doses during the first week, short of the 3,000 needed to vaccinate all teachers and staff.
“Unfortunately, again, there’s not enough vaccine to go around on the first round,” Skoda said. “Summit County schools were selected to be in the first group. Some of the schools will get vaccine in the first week.”
The logistics of distributing vaccines to teachers and staff is not uniform across the county or state. Ohio’s distribution strategy allows local health departments to be one of multiple vaccine providers in a county with relatively little oversight over countywide operations, including how many doses private pharmacies are administering or their procedures for selecting recipients.