FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Cumberland County Schools say teachers will have to wait longer than originally discussed to start getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
District leaders were hoping teachers could start getting vaccinated by the end of this month, but since the state expanded its current vaccination group to 65 and older, the next group’s date will likely be delayed.
High school social studies teacher Jennifer Davis plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available, in hopes of returning to the classroom as soon as possible.
“It’s been so difficult as a teacher trying to balance everything,” Davis said.
Teachers are included in Group 3, which is the next group eligible to get vaccinated.
The county can’t start vaccinating people in the next group until the state gives the OK, says Cumberland County Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Green.
“We can’t move until the state health department has that timeline in place, so we are working closely with the state health department to make sure that when it is their turn, we will be ready to go,” Dr. Green said.
Cumberland County Schools are encouraging staff to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.
“We believe that will expedite our return to in-person learning, plus we believe it will help keep our employees, students, and families safe,” said Lindsay Whitley, communications and community engagement associate superintendent for Cumberland County Schools.
The district is encouraging teachers to pre-register for the vaccine.
This does not allow them to jump ahead or give them an appointment time, but it could help speed up the process, Lindsay said.
“When they are eligible to make an appointment it will make the process much easier and smoother,” she said.
Davis has pre-registered for the vaccine, and says she’s OK with waiting longer so older people can get vaccinated first.
“I really don’t see the harm in us waiting a little bit longer so that we can get our high risk populations that vaccine that they need,” Davis said.