Chesterfield Delays Teacher Vaccines

School Bus
Photo credit News Radio 1140 WRVA
By Newsradio 1140 WRVA

Chesterfield, Va. (Newsradiowrva.com) -  In a letter to teachers today, Chesterfield Schools announced it was delaying vaccines for teachers.  The delay is a result of the Health District in Chesterfield not receiving nearly enough shots to make vaccination of a large group possible.  Instead, Chesterfield will focus on its special education teacehrs, which have been teaching in person.

The decision will not impact Chesterfield's choice to return elementary school kids to school buildings.  The return will still happen February 1st.  

You can see the letter here:

"Team Chesterfield staff members,

Last week, the Chesterfield Health District placed an order for approximately 8,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our colleagues in the county government shared with us that they estimated we would receive at least 50 percent of that order this week. This led the school division to plan vaccination clinics for Cohort No. 1 and elementary school staff members later this week.

Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of others at the state level as to when we receive the number of shots that we need. I regret that I have to share the supply chain outside of CCPS has not delivered.

The first shipment of shots for Chesterfield County arrived yesterday and only contained 1,000 doses. The county government is providing the school division with 750 of those doses for use with our staff.

Obviously, 750 shots will not meet the needs identified in the plan we shared Friday. As a result, we will have to temporarily delay our school-based vaccine clinics. Cohort No. 1 school-based staff, Juvenile Detention Home staff and Transportation's Area 5 staff members will receive the first dose of their vaccination later this week. More detail about logistics will be shared with this group within the next 24 hours.

This morning we asked the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Education – both strong proponents of vaccinating educators and safely reopening schools – to intercede and support Chesterfield County Public Schools’ needs. We also will share our needs with the Governor’s office.

The Chesterfield Health District will place another large order today, with hopes that a larger delivery will arrive next week. In the meantime, we are actively working with state leaders and requesting that they clarify at this time what they consider a realistic weekly delivery total to be, and will design a flexible distribution plan accordingly. It remains our intention to distribute shots as quickly as we can get them. This means the distribution timeline may be very fluid, and an employee/school could receive a day or two notice before getting the shot.

As soon as we have more information about future deliveries, we will share schedules with you. In the meantime, there are no plans to delay the re-entry of elementary students for in-person learning, as the decision to return these students to in-person learning was made before we even knew vaccines might be available in Chesterfield.

This is not where any of us want to be. Relying on others to meet our needs is not a comfortable position for any of us. We share your immense frustration. We will continue to advocate on behalf of our staff members, who continue to be a stabilizing force for our re

students and who continue to do amazing things to support our students’ needs during this uncertain time."
 
Merv