Georgia school districts prepare to vaccinate faculty, staff on Monday

School districts across the state are preparing to launch mass vaccination plans for employees that expressed interest in receiving vaccines.

Gov. Brian Kemp's expansion of COVID-19 vaccines includes Georgia educators and begins on Monday. 

Kemp has emphasized the importance of moving away from virtual learning and bringing students back to classrooms. He's planning to spur that by making the vaccine available to teachers. 

"I believe it is vitally important more for more Georgians to return to normal," Kemp said on Feb. 25. "For too many parents, this is simply impossible to do while your child is home learning through a screen. Virtually schooling is leaving too many children behind and parents are literally at wit's end. They are also very exhausted. We must have every student back in the classroom five days a week statewide."

Georgia State Superintendent Richard Woods said the vaccination expansion is crucial to returning to safe in-person instruction. 

RELATED: Georgia opening new mass vaccination sites, thousands of new doses to prioritize teachers

"I am thrilled that, now that vaccine supply has increased, Georgia is expanding vaccine eligibility, meaning Georgia teachers and school staff are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 8," Woods said. "This is an important step in ensuring all Georgia students have access to in-person instruction and ensuring the safety of students, staff, and families. It has been an incredibly challenging year for educators and families alike, but I believe we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As an educator, I am grateful for the hard work of the scientists who created and tested this vaccine. I appreciate Governor Kemp including teachers in the priority phases of vaccine administration and expanding eligibility as soon as healthcare workers, first responders, and seniors had the opportunity to be vaccinated."​

Districts have been independently announcing their plans to vaccinate teachers that expressed the desire to receive one. One survey from the state this week indicated more than 136,000 educators were interested in receiving a vaccine.

RELATED: Kemp expands COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to Georgia teachers, others

Atlanta Public Schools announced Friday COVID-19 vaccination events will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium over three days: March 24, March 26, and March 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second dose will be administered on April 14, April 16 and April 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The district secured enough allocations of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine for up to 8,000 APS staff and contractors.

Gwinnett County Public Schools said it will begin vaccinating more than 13,000 employees starting Monday.

Fulton County Schools is holding mass vaccination events for employees at Mercedes-Benz Stadium starting on March 22. That event will continue through March 27, and the second round of vaccines will be administered April 12 through 17. 

Cherokee County Schools announced its mass vaccination events at Canton First Baptist Church on Thursday and Friday.

Henry County schools' vaccination events will be on school campuses. The district was approved as Closed Points of Distribution for vaccines in February.  

"We are ecstatic to be an approved Closed Point of Distribution to provide vaccinations to our employees who opt to receive one," Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said.  "This process was a large undertaking, but it was worth it to ensure we are doing our part to keep Henry healthy."

In Rockdale County, vaccinations will take place at a local church. Forsyth County Schools will handle vaccinations similarly, hold its event 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 13, at Browns Bridge Church and the Forsyth Conference Center, according to district officials.

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