By Adam Pagnucco.
Phase 1B of the state’s COVID vaccination schedule includes “education staff, including K-12 teachers, support staff and daycare providers.” Some counties are now starting vaccinations of school staff. The state’s Department of Health has just issued a warning to all county health officers and other vaccine providers that they must include private school staff in their vaccination programs or risk having their vaccines reallocated to other vaccine providers who comply. The state’s warning follows Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s announcement that his county is working with Johns Hopkins Medicine to vaccinate MCPS employees, a statement that makes no mention of private school staff.
The memorandum from Acting Secretary of Health Dennis R. Schrader to vaccine providers is reprinted below.
To: All Local Health Officers and all COVID-19 Vaccine Providers
From: Dennis R. Schrader, Acting Health Secretary
Dr. Jinlene Chan, Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services
Cc: Dr. Karen Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools
Subject: Phase 1B: Educators – Vaccination of Nonpublic School Faculty and Staff
Date: January 30, 2021
It is the health policy of the State of Maryland that nonpublic schools may not be excluded from any COVID-19 vaccine provider who is administering COVID-19 vaccine to educators.
Any COVID-19 vaccine provider who refuses the vaccination of nonpublic school staff while administering vaccines to public school system employees will have future vaccine allocations reduced or reallocated to providers that comply with the MDH Vaccination Matters Order and COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Bulletins.
Please see the attached Week 8 bulletin, which states that “local health departments should set aside at least 100 doses per week from their overall location for Phase 1B educators in their jurisdiction. This allocation should be set aside until jurisdictions have vaccinated all of their educators.”
Additionally, please see Section 8, Education: page 9 of the bulletin, “Educational facilities include: licensed childcare facilities; K-12: both public school systems and nonpublic schools; and higher educational institutions.”