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Ohio K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program

Ohio K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program message sent on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health Feb. 2, 2021 To Ohio K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program Participants, Thank you for your commitment to Ohio’s K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program. By participating in this program, your school or district has committed to full-time classroom or hybrid learning by March 1, 2021. Governor Mike DeWine continues to emphasize the importance of getting students back in the classroom to ensure the best learning environment possible and help reduce the toll the pandemic has taken on the social-emotional and mental well-being of young Ohioans. The K-12 School Staff Vaccination program is an important step toward our goal of safely returning Ohio students to the classroom. As the K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program begins this week, here are some reminders about how the program will work and the expectations for participating school districts. K-12 schools vaccination timeline Vaccine supply is scarce, and there is not enough vaccine to vaccinate every eligible K-12 staff member at the same time. Vaccination of Ohio’s K-12 teachers and school employees will be staggered, with the goal of all K-12 teachers or employees having the opportunity to receive their first dose by March 1, 2021. This week, 91,000 school personnel are eligible to receive the vaccine. Supply has been carefully determined based on the estimated demand. Vaccine allocation and clinic planning should follow the schedule below:
  • Week One (Beginning Feb. 1)

  • Week Two (Beginning Feb. 8)

  • Week Three (Beginning Feb.15)

  • Week Four (Beginning Feb. 22)

Eligible K-12 employees Only K-12 school employees who are necessary to the operation of in-person instruction and services for students will be eligible for vaccination. This includes:

  • Teachers and long-term substitutes;

  • Bus drivers and cafeteria workers;

  • Environmental and building services workers; and

  • Other adults in school district buildings who regularly interact with students and have a contractual relationship with the district (such as office personnel, aides, non-teaching staff, coaches, etc.)

The program does NOT include school board members, parent volunteers or early-childhood providers. Prioritization of your staff: If possible, within these eligible groups, please prioritize your school staff who work with students who cannot wear a face mask because of health or educational needs. Planning and communication

  • Estimation of vaccine recipients: If you have not done so already, it is essential you partner with your educational service center and vaccine provider partner to estimate the expected number of vaccine recipients to assist in finalizing plans for vaccine administration.

  • Confirm and communicate clinic details and eligibility verification: Please send communications to your staff explaining the dates and locations of the vaccinations, how they should prepare, and what they must take to the appointment for proof of eligibility. In addition:

  • Please confirm with your vaccination provider partner if there will be an advance registration process or specific time slots assigned.

  • Most providers are using a preregistration process and providing a unique identifier or link to staff to verify eligibility.

  • Vaccine provider partners will request staff to present photo identification, such as their work ID badge, at their appointment time to verify identity and eligibility. If proper identification is not available at time of visit, staff members may still be vaccinated if they confirm they are eligible.

  • Ensure your staff members understand that they must receive their vaccinations through this process and should not contact local pharmacy providers, hospitals or their health department to schedule a vaccination on their own.

  • Share trusted resources on vaccine education: The Ohio Department of Health offers frequently asked questions, myths vs. facts and a vaccine toolkit to help learn about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines at ohio.gov. Please include links to these resources in your communications about the K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program.

Thank you for your commitment to ensuring all Ohio children have the opportunity to learn in a classroom setting, which we know is the best place for the academic progress, socialization, and developmental and mental health of most students. If you have any questions about the K-12 School Staff Vaccination Program, please send an email to schools@odh.ohio.gov. Sincerely, Lance Himes Senior Deputy Director Ohio Department of Health

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