Westchester County pushes to get teachers vaccinated to help schools open
Westchester County officials say they are focusing on getting as many teachers vaccinated as possible to reopen schools as quickly as possible.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer says they have made significant progress in inoculating first responders with the COVID-19 vaccine, and now the focus is on teachers, especially since the demand to completely reopen schools in New York is growing by the day.
The plan is to divide school districts into small, medium and large. The goal is to get teachers in an entire district vaccinated so all the schools in that community can then open up.
They say they've made progress in Yonkers as well as Elmsford, White Plains, Irvington, Valhalla and Pelham so far.
County officials say they are working with both big city and small districts at the same time to make it fair. But the biggest hurdle remains the supply of vaccines.
Westchester County, like many places, is not getting all the doses they're requesting for this project. "We asked for 4,000 doses specifically for that purpose. We felt that if we could vaccinate 4,000 people, we could make a significant effort and a significant result within the teaching community. We got 1,100 doses, so we didn't get all that we asked for but we have the staff and we have the capacity at the Westchester Community College to deliver if that volume is given to us," Latimer says.
The county executive said since this week is winter break and many are off, they are using that time to make it easier for teachers to go and get their vaccinations as they get those doses in.