Pine Tree and White Oak ISDs are preparing to offer COVID-19 vaccines in February to staff members who want the shots.
As of now, there are no requirements for school staff members or students to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Any vaccines offered by school districts are voluntary.
White Oak ISD Superintendent Brian Gray said the district is teaming with the company Aurora Concepts to bring vaccines Feb. 1 to any staff members who would like one.
The company will bring a mobile unit to administer the vaccines at no cost to the district and no out-of-pocket expense to those getting the shot, Gray said.
He said he is not sure how many district employees will take the vaccine, but as Feb. 1 draws closer, he will send paperwork to staff members, and those who want a shot can fill it out and sign up.
“I’ve got some who want it, and some who are hesitant,” Gray said. “We’re trying to do this as a service to give to those who want the vaccine.”
Though White Oak ISD is scheduled to get the vaccine Feb. 1, Gray said the shipment still is dependent on availability. The hope is the vaccine will be available for those in Group 1C, which includes educators, by that time.
Pine Tree ISD Superintendent Steve Clugston said Wednesday that his district also is teaming with Aurora Concepts.
Just as in White Oak ISD, there is no cost to the district, and staff members will be sent paperwork closer to the date to see how many want the vaccine. No date to administer the shots to Pine Tree ISD employees has been finalized.
“I think it’s huge,” Clugston said. “If this works out the way we anticipated, I think it’s a great opportunity for our staff to put them in a position to better protect themselves. I’m very happy to be able to do it.”
While there is no cost, he said it would not matter if there was.
“We have to do what we have to to protect our staff,” Clugston said. “In the long run, it saves us money because we have less people out. It will be a tremendous win for our district if we make this happen.”
He said he has more long-term hopes for this partnership, such as providing a clinic to give students and families the vaccine if they want it, if possible.
Longview and Spring Hill ISDs do not have set plans to offer vaccines to employees, officials said Wednesday.
“We would love to have the authorization and permission in order to offer a vaccine,” Longview ISD spokesman Francisco Rojas said. “But we haven’t been told that we as a school district can do something like that yet, (and) neither has the option been given to us.”
Spring Hill ISD Superintendent Wayne Guidry said his district is exploring vendors to provide the vaccine to staff members, but no agreements have been finalized.
“We’re reaching out and we’re hoping to finalize that here in the next week or two for vaccines for our staff members,” he said.