Sioux City educators prepare for COVID-19 vaccine

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out here in Siouxland, next on the list heading into the first week of February is educators.

The Sioux City Community School District talked about their plans to distribute the vaccine to their staff members.

“We’ve had so, so many teachers that have contracted the virus and a couple really ill people, and unfortunately even some deaths our number one goal is to remain safe,” said Brenda Zahner, a representative with the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA).

The CDC has prioritized teachers and school staff as essential workers, making them next in line to get the vaccine.

“Educators want to be in the classroom, but you shouldn’t have to put your life in jeopardy to do your job, so we just need to make sure we can get as many people vaccinated as we can,” said Zahner.

Staff members inside the Sioux City School District have been asked if they would get the vaccine if it were offered.

“I signed up for the first round hopefully. I’m over fifty, I have asthma so I would like to get it as quickly as possible,” said Lesa Banks, a representative for the Siouxland UniServ Unit.

Banks has also been an educator inside the Sioux City School District for 30 years. She and her colleagues are waiting for the next step in the vaccine process.

“They still don’t know when we’re going to get it but they are hoping soon,” said Banks.

“With 2,500 staff members, if we only receive 500 doses, we have to decide who will go first, and obviously those who are in most contact with others will be on that list,” said Supt. Dr. Paul Gausman, with the Sioux City Community School District.

Gausman says the district has established a priority structure as to which employees will be at the top of the list.

“Our school nurses have been fantastic they are going to receive the vaccine first then they will help administer that vaccination to the rest of the staff who would like to receive that vaccination,” said Gausman.

Gausman also adds the vaccine is optional for district staffers and no one will be penalized if they choose not to be vaccinated, but it is highly recommended.

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