NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Schools teachers and support staff will start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine later this month as Nashville moves to the next phase of its COVID vaccination plan.

On Monday afternoon, Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, said teachers and support staff will get their first doses starting on Feb. 20. Metro Schools said the vaccines are being made available earlier because Davidson County leaders accelerated the move to the next phase of distribution. 

“I know that this news will give our teachers and staff a sense of relief that they are this much closer to receiving that extra layer of protection against the virus that has upended our society,”  Director of Metro Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said in a statement on Monday. “I’m grateful for the volunteer leadership of Dr. Jahangir who has been such a great resource of knowledge and support throughout this pandemic, as well as the Metro Public Health Department led by Dr. Gill Wright and our longtime partners at Vanderbilt Health who are instrumental to the physical and mental wellness of our team.”

Metro teachers will get the opportunity to get vaccinated. Metro Health hopes to begin the process before the week is over.

The announcement comes after some Nashville teachers traveled out of Davidson County to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Battle acknowledged they went to some of the state's more rural counties.

"Teachers and staff will no longer feel like they will have to go across county lines. Sometimes multiple county lines to get the vaccine," Battle said. "Starting this Thursday, Feb. 11, educators and support staff will start being able to make reservations for their vaccines."

Vaccinations will be done at Vanderbilt Medical Center for MNPS teachers and staff. Tristar health will handle private schools, other pre schools, and daycares.

“Dr. Battle has taken some important steps to get our schools open for in-person learning, now we must do what we can to keep them open by protecting our educators from contracting COVID,” Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chair of the Metro Board of Public Health and the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said in a statement on Monday. “This announcement today wouldn’t be possible without the leadership of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and HCA/Tri-Star.”

The announcement day before MNPS pre-k through fourth grade students will start returning to class. Fifth and ninth grade students, or students in transition grades into middle and high school, will return on Thursday, February 18. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders return on Thursday, February 25.

Mayor John Cooper said they were comfortable moving to the next phase because Nashville is getting more vaccines. This week the city received 11,000 which is 2,000 more than Nashville got last week.

“The vaccine is another important step to keep schools safe,” Cooper said in a statement on Monday.. “I’m grateful to Metro Public Health for efficiently rolling out the vaccine to help avoid the long lines and wait times we’ve seen in other cities. With the help of our hospital partners, we will continue providing a courteous and efficient vaccination process for our teachers.”

Metro Schools announced teachers and support staff in Davidson County will start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine later this month.

Metro Health officials said with the city moving to the next phase of COVID vaccination plan, officials will also begin scheduling vaccine appointments for those 70 years old and older.

“Education is another integral aspect of our society that has been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and wellbeing of our teachers is fundamental for the children of our community to have the opportunity to learn. Through these vaccinations we are delighted to be able to help MNPS teachers and staff with a safe return to the vitally important role they play,” C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center said in a statement on Monday.

Anyone 70 years old and older in Davidson County looking to make an appointment is asked to click here or call 615-862-7777.

Metro Health said about 1,800 people received vaccines at MCC. Health officials said they have received approval by the Tennessee Department of Health to be able to administer a direct allocation of vaccines. 

"The great thing about our efficient plan we have now and because of our health care systems we will continue to do everything we’re doing in the music city center in addition to vaccinating our educators," Jahangir said.

 

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