CORVALLIS — More local educators will be vaccinated against the coronavirus this week, following the rapid rollout of shots specifically earmarked by the federal government to help those working in our schools.
But what's really making the effort take off just days after President Biden ordered the shots by the end of March, is the quick response of local schools and pharmacies.
"And so, it's just been this rollercoaster I think, especially this week of emotions because we keep talking about, and we've been talking about, when is the vaccine coming out? When's it going to be here? When are we going to have a chance to do that?” said Corvallis School Superintendent Jon Kronen.
“And we've had some great partners between Corvallis Drug and Bitterroot Drug that have really come forward and said, 'hey, let's get those educators with shots in arms,” Kronen added.
Kronen was among the teachers, administrators and staff getting their shots in places like Corvallis and Hamilton last week.
The process is a quick one, usually being done early in the day, right after classes dismiss, or where teachers might be available on breaks. Since these are the new "one-shot" Johnson and Johnson vaccine that means the educators will be able to get their effective protection much sooner.
Kronen, who was sidelined by the virus himself last fall, sees this as the responsible move by the schools, which play a key role in community protection.
"As a district employee like myself you have to think about kids and staff and people that come onto the campus,” Kronen told MTN News. “And so having that district-wide viewpoint. You know, our number one piece has always been safety and it's going to continue to be safety."
In Missoula, another example of that rollout of the special federal allocation of vaccine is Granite Pharmacy, which is working with schools across Missoula County to dispense some 2,000 doses to teachers.