School District COVID-19 Vaccine Plan Scuttled Due To Low Supply

Schools Superintendent John Ravally told parents in a January 12 letter that low vaccine supply has scuttled a plan to have school districts serve as COVID-19 vaccine distribution centers. (File photo).

The plan for the school district to host a COVID-19 vaccine dispensing site for district employees has been put on hold by the state due to a lack of vaccine, a district official said on January 12.

The news comes after more than 900 district employees signed up to receive the vaccine, district spokeswoman Mary Clark said in an email.

Schools Superintendent John Ravally announced on December 21 that an application the district had submitted to the state Department of Health to become a provider site for a COVID-19 vaccine for district employees had been accepted, pending working out of details.

But in a January 12 letter to district staff, Ravally broke the bad news that the plan has been put on the shelf.

“As of today the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has decided, at the current time, there is not enough vaccine allocation to support distribution to multiple closed PODs; therefore, they are putting closed POD applications on hold,” Ravally said in the letter.

“The state explained in an email forwarded to me from the Somerset County Health Department that the current focus of the NJDOH is on ensuring current provider sites have the ability to receive and administer the vaccine, but they did mention in their email that future distribution to additional closed POD sites is not off the table,” he said.

“So for now we are on hold,” Ravally continued. “What does that mean for you? It means for those that registered to receive the vaccine through the district you should also register via the New Jersey State Covid-19 Vaccine Portal by clicking the link and following the directions thus ensuring you are registered both locally and through the state’s site.”

“It is our understanding that those working in education will be eligible to receive the vaccine during the 1b phase sometime in coming weeks,” Ravally wrote.

“We remain hopeful that the NJDOH will be able to provide final approval to closed PODs like ours once they are positioned to do so,” he said.

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