COVID-19 vaccination opportunities for educators, school staff, and child care workers are being expanded.
The state said these workers will be invited to mass vaccination clinics at Dover Speedway next weekend, March 13 and 14. Expect invites directly from the Delaware Department of Education, if you've previously expressed interest in being vaccinated, by early next week.
Additionally, now educators, school staffers, and child care workers can sign up for vaccine appointments at Walgreens through the federal pharmacy partnership. However, due to supply constraints, there's only a limited number of appointments available as of Friday. Several thousand more will be added next week, according to the state, and educators, school staff, and child care workers will be notified when those appointments become available.
The extra focus on getting school staff and educators vaccinated is in line with President Biden's commitment to provide at least one dose of vaccine to school personnel by the end of March.
"To prioritize educator vaccinations in Delaware through March and in accordance with federal guidance, Walgreens will pause new vaccination appointments for other eligible populations," the state said in a news release.
More than 16,000 educators and school personnel requested vaccination through DDOE. Roughly 4,000 child care providers also requested vaccination.
So far, more than 5,500 educators and school staffers have received at least one dose of vaccine while half of those are now fully vaccinated, the state said. That represents approximately 34.4% of those who've requested vaccination have been inoculated.
DDOE will continue to host regular K-12 and child care vaccination events and notify educators as additional appointments become available at Walgreens.
“We are building on our ongoing efforts to prioritize vaccinations for educators, school staff and child care workers across our state who have stepped up throughout this COVID-19 crisis,” said Governor John Carney in a prepared statement. “Our goal remains the same. We want to distribute this life-saving vaccine in a way that's fast and fair. Until we can vaccinate enough Delawareans, let’s continue to follow the basic health precautions. Wear a mask. Avoid gatherings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay vigilant.”
The state is also sending vaccine doses to poultry companies so they can begin vaccinating their most vulnerable workers.
Next week, Health and Wellness Centers located on site at Mountaire facilities in Millsboro and Selbyville will be set up to vaccinate workers in coordination with Premise Health. Premise Health has operated the company’s Health and Wellness Centers for many years and worked with Mountaire to develop the vaccination plan.
“With nearly 5,000 team members on the Shore, it will take some time to get everyone vaccinated. However, we care about our people and communities and are committed to getting this done. We are up for the challenge and encourage all of our employees to get the vaccine," said President Phillip Plylar said.
The company said it's giving $40 VISA gift cards as an incentive to employees who receive both shots.