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Adams 12 teachers over 70 get COVID-19 vaccine

Many of the staff members getting the vaccine are substitutes, something a district spokesperson said will help when other teachers get vaccinated.

THORNTON, Colo. — Adams 12 Five Star Schools staff members over age 70 are getting in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Chief Operating Officer Pat Hamilton.

Under the state's current vaccination distribution plan, frontline essential workers – including teachers and people who work in childcare – are slated to receive vaccines at the end of February at the earliest. People over 70 and first responders are slated to receive vaccines from mid-January to late February, according to the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE). 

RELATED: Teachers, frontline workers now after people over 70 on Colorado's vaccination timeline

"We have 110 staff members that are over the age of 70, so a majority of those are substitute teachers," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said substitutes will help keep schools open once students return in person.

"As long we can get someone in, we're going to say yes to that opportunity," Hamilton said.

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Dave Lockley, president of the District 12 Educators Association, said he is glad that anyone who can get the vaccine has access.

"We just wish there was a stronger plan," Lockley said.

Lockley said he believes the plan for all teachers to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine needs to be fleshed out and communicated.

"Not knowing, not being able to plan that out is just, drives our educators nuts, and really makes them nervous about when it is that they're going to feel safe in the school environment," Lockley said.

Monday morning, Adams 12 sent an email to the entire staff inviting them to start getting on the list to get the vaccine starting in late February or March.

"Trying to figure out who's going to get vaccinated when and how, we're going to do it," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said having the substitute teachers over age 70 vaccinated and ready to go may be essential in executing the plan to get everyone else vaccinated efficiently.

"There's some operational challenges that we're going to have to overcome as far as getting people in to get vaccinated during the school day," Hamilton said.

He said there are around 5,000 educators in Adams 12 Five Star Schools serving more than 40,000 students.

"In a perfect world, you’d say, 'Okay everyone, come on this day,' and we’re just gonna get all 4,000 – 5,000 vaccines done," Hamilton said. "I’m not sure that’s the best approach. If we could phase that out over a couple of weeks that would be great. It’s more likely gonna be over a month or more."

RELATED: 'This is an enormous undertaking': State details vaccine distribution plans

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