HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — California will set aside 10% of first vaccine doses for staffers in education in childcare beginning next month to help return children to in-class learning, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward.
The move comes a day after California’s legislative leaders announced a $6.5 billion proposal aimed at reopening schools later this spring, a timeline that Newsom said is not fast enough for California’s six million K-12 students and that he would veto.READ MORE: State Health Officials Preparing To Greenlight COVID-19 Vaccine Shots To Children 12-15 Years Old
“My fear about what was put out yesterday is that it’s actually going to slow down our ability to re-open schools safely,” said Newsom. “That’s my concern. We will continue, we are continuing dialogue with the legislature, but the proposal that was put back actually sets back the cause of safely re-opening schools,” Newsom said.
The statewide discussion over re-opening is happening as the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) opened the county’s first mobile vaccine clinic at the Alameda County Office of Education in Hayward.
Alameda County Schools Superintendent L.K. Monroe called it one critical step closer to re-opening schools.
“We know that when our educators feel safe, when we are able to put safety measures in place that’s PPE, personal protective equipment, it’s masking, it’s distancing, it’s hand washing, it’s all of those things, vaccination adds another layer to that and we think that it’s a very critical layer to making schools ready to re-open,” she said in a news conference this afternoon.READ MORE: Abandoned Van With Threatening Graffiti Forces Richmond Elementary School To Return To Remote Learning
500 shots were distributed at the office Friday, with another 250 set for Saturday and follow-up clinics for a second dose in 21 days.
“It means that those in our education community are seen and heard and they know that we are all working together as challenging as it may be at times to beat COVID and to get students back to school,” said Aisha Knowles, president of the Alameda County Board of Education.
The plan for the mobile clinic came together just three days ago. “We were going to vaccinate everybody we possibly could and we were not going to let anything get in our way to keep that from happening,” said. Dave Soldavini of the U.S. Forest Service and FEMA.
Queued-up teachers told KPIX 5 they were ready. “If we reach 70 percent immunity and it means we can go back to life as normal and I can teach drama again, which I can’t teach now, I am completely on board with that,” said middle school drama teacher Charmaine Tilly.MORE NEWS: Caught On Camera: Video Shows Man Defacing San Francisco Murals Dedicated To Asian Culture
“I am relieved,” said mental health counselor Amirah Salaam. “I’ve been trying for a week to get an appointment. I’ve been trying to go through my medical care provider, just trying to get in and I heard about this this morning and it was just like this. I’m right here.”