Union Co. Public Schools works to vaccinate elder teachers, CMS staff asks when plans will roll out

Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:41 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Local school districts in Charlotte are working closely with their county health departments to develop plans to get teachers vaccinated, when their time comes.

Right now Groups 1 & 2 are the priority for vaccinations.

But some districts are rolling out their plans, while others are silent.

“CMS is just basically saying, hey, you’re on your own. good luck,” says CMS teacher Courtney McNair.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools teachers say they’re being left in the dark on the districts plans for vaccinating its staff.

Meanwhile, Union County Public Schools says it has already sent out its vaccine plans to its staff.

Teachers who qualify by age, in Group 2, have booked appointments through the district for January 22 and 23.

McNair wants to know why CMS isn’t following suit, to help their staff get vaccinated when the time comes.

“This is one of the ways that would help for us to go back is to know that we are either going to get the vaccine soon or have some idea when it’s going to be,” says McNair.

In an email, CMS communications dodged WBTV’s questions about if they have any plans to directly help their staff get vaccinated.

“CMS will follow the direction of the Mecklenburg County Health Department for scheduling. The health department is working through the prioritization groups and will notify us when our staff will be eligible to sign up. Please contact the health department for information,” CMS responded.

CMS asked WBTV to contact the county health department. So we asked Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris directly—about the plans.

“We’re getting lots of input around that. Unfortunately we still have a lot of people in groups 1 and 2 that have not been vaccinated yet,” explained Harris “So we don’t have a specific timeline for vaccinating in group 3 but we are working on our plans for what that will look like.”

Sources within CMS later told WBTV the district would like to follow suit with UCPS plans, but they’re at the mercy of when and how the Mecklenburg County Health Department decides to go about it.

“I feel like maybe if I had some idea about the support, somebody advocating from the district to make sure we got this vaccine, I think a lot of us would be much more comfortable about going back into the building sooner rather than later,” said McNair.

CMS sent an email to teachers and staff Wednesday, saying they are hopeful that vaccination opportunities will be available to all our employees soon.

“District leadership and our Board of Education continue to advocate prioritized access to the vaccine for student-facing staff members. We are in frequent communication with our great partners at MCPH. They know that getting our employees vaccinated as soon as possible is a top priority. If vaccine supplies or plans change, we will let you know as soon as we have that information,” part of the email read.

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