Sonoma County Office of Education

Interagency Partnership Secures 1,500 Vaccines for Santa Rosa Area Educators

03/01/2021 -

An interagency partnership between Sen. Mike McGuire, Santa Rosa City Schools, and the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) has secured codes for 1,500 vaccines for elementary school staff in the Santa Rosa area to continue the vaccination schedule for school employees in an elementary school setting.

A shortage of vaccine allocation from the state forced Sonoma County to postpone SCOE’s vaccine clinic for the week of March 1, the week it was scheduled to vaccinate elementary school staff in Santa Rosa City Schools, Bellevue Union Elementary, Bennett Valley, Rincon Valley, and Kenwood school districts.

This could have impacted the target reopening dates for many of these districts. Upon learning this, Santa Rosa City Schools, under Superintendent Dr. Diann Kitamura and Board President Laurie Fong, began working with State Sen. Mike McGuire’s office to secure access to additional vaccines for the districts that would have been impacted by the local shortage. This collaboration resulted in 1,500 doses of the state’s vaccine supply being allocated to SCOE for educators in Sonoma County. They can use a code to sign up for an appointment at participating hospitals and vaccine sites around the Bay Area.

At the same time, SCOE had begun working with the Governor’s office late last week to set up a supplemental vaccine support system for school staff, following news that the state would allocate an additional 10% of its vaccine supply for educators. This meant an infrastructure was in place to enable the immediate rollout of these vaccine codes to local educators. Districts have been provided the codes in proportion to the size of their elementary school staff populations, and staff are encouraged to sign up for a vaccine appointment within the next 8 days.

Middle and high school staff are scheduled to receive vaccines later in SCOE’s vaccine rollout, based on the fact that middle and high schools cannot open for in-person instruction until the county qualifies for the less restrictive red tier (7 cases per 100,000 residents).

"These newly secured vaccines will help keep up momentum that would otherwise have been lost due to the vaccine shortages that led to the closure of SCOE's clinic this week," said County Superintendent Steve Herrington. "Thanks to the ingenuity, fortitude, and dedication of Sen. McGuire, Superintendent Kitamura, and President Laurie Fong, school staff vaccines are able to stay on schedule. This kind of inter-agency partnership is key to safely reopening schools in Sonoma County."

SCOE is hopeful that local supply will improve soon, and plans to resume its vaccine clinic the week of March 8. At a minimum, SCOE will be able to provide second doses for all educators scheduled to receive them during the week of March 8. The county is prioritizing second doses over first doses while supply is short and has assured SCOE that enough vaccines will be available to provide these doses.