FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Allen County teachers are advocating to be put on the COVID-19 vaccine standby list after they say their health has been put at risk for months.
They wrote a letter to the Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter asking that any unused doses be given to those working in our schools.
“We have teachers and bus drivers who, because of their duties, are exposed to hundreds of students a day. As much as we try to socially distance in the classroom, some of our class sizes are too big. We can’t,” Kosmoski said.
This is why President of the East Allen County Educators Association Andra Kosmoski along with Sandra Vohs of the Fort Wayne Education Association and Ryan Henly of the Southwest Allen County Teachers Association feel this issue is so important.
“We know that being in person is best for the community because families rely on schools being open. So we’re doing this job for others. I think it’s now time for others to think about the educators that are putting themselves out there,” Kosmoski said.
Dr. Sutter says he understands the need.
“First of all, I’d like to say that teachers are super important,” he said.
But there simply aren’t enough doses available.
“We try to plan our visits so we minimize that waste or amount of extra doses. Saturday we didn’t have any leftover vaccines. There have been several days we’ve had zero. Many days it’s one or two,” Sutter said.
Allen County teacher Lisa Mann says she’s been stressed about being exposed to the virus in her classroom.
She is a strong advocate for her and her colleagues to be on the docket for vaccinations.
“With that result, fewer teachers will be quarantined or out with Covid themselves. As a result of that, that leads to better and more consistency for students. We know that not having schools open is one thing, but having a consistent person, a consistent teacher in that classroom for those students every day that’s just as vital,” Mann said.
ACDH recently announced that Hoosiers between the ages 65-69 are now eligible for the vaccine. It’s unclear when educators will be prioritized.