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COVID-19 vaccinations of Baltimore City Public Schools staff to begin this week

Posted at 1:40 PM, Jan 18, 2021

BALTIMORE — Through a collaboration with Baltimore City Public Schools, Johns Hopkins Medicine will begin COVID-19 vaccinations this week of nearly 500 teachers and school staff already working at in-person learning sites.

Vaccinations for additional groups of 500 employees each week are planned for future weeks.

Under a plan developed in concert with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), prioritized employees working at in-person learning sites will indicate their interest in receiving the vaccine.

Up to 500 of those prioritized employees will be randomly selected to be vaccinated starting Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

The first wave of vaccinations will prioritize staff who have already been working in-person including meal service workers, teachers, custodians, and administrative personnel.

Following this week, Johns Hopkins Medicine and City Schools will continue providing additional vaccinations in subsequent weeks to groups of 500 employees working through our prioritized list.

This collaboration builds upon City Schools' comprehensive plans to safely host additional in-person learning opportunities while combating the spread of COVID-19 in Baltimore City.

These efforts include daily, on-site testing for staff and students who show symptoms, and implementation of the CDC’s five mitigation strategies for schools.

“We know how important it is to the long term health and well-being of our city and our neighbors to see the safe and successful reopening of City schools,” says Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J Daniels. “I am glad Johns Hopkins can fulfill its mission to support the city and its citizens - especially our youngest - through this urgent and important partnership.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine also stated:

“At Johns Hopkins Medicine, our mission is to do everything we can to help Baltimore get back to business, and that includes the very important work of educating our youngest community members,” says Kevin W. Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “That mission starts with vaccinating our teachers and those who support them, and we are honored to collaborate with the Baltimore City Health Department and the Baltimore City Public Schools to help speed up that process.”

City Schools will host two virtual town halls this week that will include information about optional in-person opportunities and the district's health protocols.

A staff-only town hall will be held Wednesday, January 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and include representatives from Johns Hopkins Medicine. The event is not open to the public.

A Virtual Family Town Hall about second-semester in-person learning will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, January 21 on Facebook and Twitter (@baltcityschools) and City Schools TV on YouTube.

On Friday, Baltimore City Public Schools confirmed that nearly 1,200 City School staff have said that that they want the vaccine. Nearly all those individuals are on a path to be vaccinated by the end of next week, with a possibility that a small number of those appointments may fall into the following week.

“I am extremely pleased with the early response. We have put in place sound health and safety measures to facilitate in-person learning and getting staff vaccinated is another step in that process,” stated City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises. “I am thankful to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical System, and all those who have partnered with us on our mission to educate our students while protecting students, families, and staff.”

The 3,500 employees who have been offered the opportunity to receive vaccinations include our meal service workers and custodians who have been working in person for many months, teachers and administrators working in person now, and nearly all the core subject teachers for all the grades (K-2) for which students will return on February 16.