MCDONOUGH – Several employees in Henry County Schools began receiving their first doses of COVID-19 vaccinations this week as a part of the state’s phased rollout plan to provide the shots to specific groups encompassing school employees.
School nurses, clinic aides, and other identified health professionals in the district became eligible to receive the first round of a two-shot regimen the week of Jan. 4-11 as these groups of employees fall under the Phase 1A+ portion of the rollout plan.
HCS officials said many of those eligible “did not hesitate to volunteer to take the vaccine and look forward to completing the second shot soon.”
Henry County Schools administration officials are working with the health department and local emergency management agency on plans to provide greater access to the COVID-19 vaccinations for educators in Henry schools once the state’s rollout plan reaches that phase. Educational faculty and staff are part of Phase 1B of the vaccination rollout.
“Our district has worked hard since the beginning of this school year on stringent mitigation protocols to do our part to combat this pandemic,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis. “With one semester under our belt including staff and some students returning to campus, we are looking at elevating our efforts to help combat the negative effects of COVID-19 in our community. We see working with our community partners to provide greater access to vaccinations for our employees as one of these elevated efforts.”
When the state reaches Phase 1b in the rollout plan, all HCS employees would be eligible to receive the vaccination on a voluntary basis.
“District officials are working in conjunction with multiple entities on all details pertaining to this access and availability,” said JD Hardin, HCS communication specialist. “Leaders and key officials involved in the discussions have committed to timely communications for employees in order to make known all opportunities to this important health and safety measure.”
Henry County Schools is the largest employer in the county with over 6,000 employees. When schools are fully open to student instruction, these employees are interacting with 43,000 students and their families.
“We want to keep everyone in the community and our schools safe during this pandemic,” said Dr. April Madden, Chief Family & Student Support Services officer, “and working toward greater vaccination access for our employees can have a huge impact on supporting a safe and healthy county. We are excited to be working on this meaningful operation to support our employees.”