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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Shelby County Health Department offers "surprise" vaccinations to some Shelby County Schools teachers

SCS said they learned Sunday night about some doses available that needed to be given out or risked being discarded, and they were offered to SCS.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As Shelby County Schools continues working to return stronger to in-person learning this school year, the availability of vaccines for our teachers and staff is a key factor in our ability to do so safely. With cases beginning to trend downward, the availability of vaccines is our greatest signal of hope as we prepare to return to classrooms.

Surprise Vaccination Availability (Limited)

In a surprise call from Shelby County Mayor Harris' team Sunday evening, SCS learned of a limited availability of vaccination doses that, according to the Shelby County Health Department, must be distributed today or risk being discarded. While this was highly unexpected and very last-minute, our team worked feverishly to seize the chance of implementing our vaccination strategy on behalf of teachers. Note, this was NOT the SCS employee vaccination operation that has been planned for weeks.

Weather Challenges

We are aware that today's weather forecast poses some incredible challenges for travel. However, out of an abundance of concern for SCS educators, Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray has directed District leaders to make a good faith effort to vaccinate, on a first-come-first-served basis, elementary school teachers and support staff who previously indicated interest and completed the COVID-19 vaccination survey in January.

As announced last Friday, all teachers and support staff will return in person to buildings on February 22; however, teachers in grades Pre-K - 5 will be welcoming students back on March 1. Therefore, we have prioritized them for this very limited opportunity.

  • Today’s vaccination opportunity is appointment only for Pre-K-5 teachers and support staff, and although we have not received any additional information about when the next batch of vaccines will become available, this is not the only opportunity our employees will have to be vaccinated.
Shelby County Schools offers educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, creed, age, disability, national origin, or genetic information.