DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) estimates school districts already passed the state’s goal of vaccinating three-quarters of student-facing staff in K-12 schools by Friday.
As of Sunday, CDPHE estimated 93,175 of the state’s 120,000 K-12 educators and child care workers in licensed child care programs were vaccinated, surpassing the goal Governor Polis outlined in Friday’s press conference.
CDPHE’s estimate is based on numbers from school districts. School districts are relying on teachers to self report because they cannot require teachers to notify the district they got vaccinated because of privacy laws.
Colorado Education Association President Amie Baca-Oehlert said it was a rocky start for teachers but it turned around as school districts worked through initial issues with the process.
“Originally, I had some doubts that we would be able to get through all the educators that wanted a vaccine but it looks like we have actually accomplished that. There were definitely kinks in the beginning and bumps to get worked out, but those have smoothed out and those who want to get a vaccine have either gotten their first vaccine or have an appointment to get their first vaccine,” said Baca-Oehlert.
Teachers are not required to get the vaccine. Baca-Oehlert said a CEA survey conducted in December indicated 80 percent of educators planned to get vaccinated. Baca-Oeflert said that number may be even higher as more people become educated and trust the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers checked in with major districts around the metro on their efforts to vaccinate their student-facing staff.
Douglas County School District said all student-facing staff have had the ability and access to vaccinations. DCSD said a majority of its student-facing employees will receive the second dose before spring break.
Denver Public Schools said it has offered vaccines to all educators who indicated they wanted one. DPS said it is on track for all staff who want a vaccine to receive their second dose by the end of March.
Cherry Creek School District said it’s well ahead of its vaccination goal. Over the past three weeks, CCSD said it believes it has offered all educators and district employees the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they choose.
In Jefferson County Public Schools, it said health providers have sent 22,744 invitations to staff members to sign up for a vaccine appointment. So far, 5,359 staff members have reported that they have received the vaccine.
A spokesperson for JeffCo Schools said the district is relying on teachers to self report that they’ve been vaccinated. A spokesperson said the district believes the number of employees who have received the vaccine is higher than what’s currently reflected in its dashboard.