State expands vaccination program for educators, poultry workers

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Gov. John Carney announced an expansion of the state’s vaccination program for educators and poultry workers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the expansion comes as Delaware moves into a shortlist of states with a high level of vaccinations.

blankAccording to state figures, about 26 percent percent of Delawareans have received at least one dose of vaccine as of Friday.

The vaccine will go to educators, school staff, and child care workers – in line with President Biden’s commitment to providing at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to school personnel by the end of March.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) will host large vaccination events on Saturday, March 13, and Sunday, March 14 for educators, school staff, and child care workers at Dover International Speedway.

Early next week, DDOE will extend invitations for the Speedway event to educators, school staff, and child care workers who have expressed interest in vaccination.

Through a partnership between the federal government and Walgreens pharmacies – educators, school staff, and child care workers can sign up for Walgreens’ appointments to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Walgreens will pause new vaccination appointments for other eligible populations.

Educators, school staff, and child care workers can visit to seek a vaccination appointment at Walgreens. Due to supply constraints, there are a limited number of appointments currently available at present.

Several thousand appointments will be available next week as Walgreens receives additional supplies from the federal government. Educators, school staff, and child care workers will be notified when these additional appointments become available.

The Delaware Department of Education, in partnership with Albertsons Pharmacy, already has vaccinated more than 5,500 educators and school staff, or roughly a third of those who expressed interest in vaccination, and more than half of the 5,500 are fully vaccinated. More than 2,200 Delaware child care workers have also received their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. The Department of Education will continue to host regular K-12 and child care vaccination events and notify educators as additional appointments become available at Walgreens.

On Friday, the State of Delaware began shipping doses of vaccine to poultry companies to begin vaccinating their most vulnerable workers. The State of Delaware and its partners have administered 253,535 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as of midnight Friday, March 5.

“We are building on our ongoing efforts to prioritize vaccinations for educators, school staff, and child care workers across our state who have stepped up throughout this Covid-19 crisis,” said Carney. “Our goal remains the same. We want to distribute this life-saving vaccine in a way that’s fast and fair. Until we can vaccinate enough Delawareans, let’s continue to follow the basic health precautions. Wear a mask. Avoid gatherings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay vigilant.”

Through its partnership with Albertsons Pharmacy (Acme-Safeway), the state Department of Education has coordinated the vaccination of education personnel and child care providers since late January. More than 16,000 educators and school personnel requested vaccination through DDOE. Roughly 4,000 child care providers also requested vaccinations.

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