SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Vaccines are set to begin rolling out in schools next week after Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that teachers and faculty would be moving up in the distribution plan sooner than expected.
It is a moment schools have been waiting for since the pandemic began.
“I am announcing we’re going to include to move to two categories of 1B which is the age of 70 and older and the other would be our K-12 school staff and employees,” the governor said.
He said schools can begin vaccinating January 18th.
As for the Springdale School District, those plans are already in place.
Rick Schaeffer with the district said teachers will get an e-mail on Friday to sign up for the shots and will start getting them on Wednesday the 20th. Despite being the largest district in the state, he expects every teacher who wants a vaccine to have it by the end of next week- within a three-day period.
“We believe it’s effective,” Schaeffer said. “I think it will bring a lot of relief.”
Schaeffer said Community Pharmacy has ordered 2,000 vaccines for the district and more can be ordered if more than 2,000 people sign up.
But, even if every teacher is vaccinated, he said the district cannot back down on precautions until the herd immunity threshold is reached- when 8-5 of northwest Arkansas is vaccinated.
“We’re still gonna have to wear the masks and maintain social distancing,” he said.
The district will vaccinate from January 20th until the 22nd at Springdale High School, Har-Ber High School and Don Tyson School of Innovation.