As the COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out, Brownfield ISD has made it a point to make it a priority for their staff to be vaccinated. On Friday morning Jan. 22, 2021 BISD delayed school for two hours so that any staff member of BISD, could receive the vaccine.
According to BISD Superintendent Chris Smith all personnel had the opportunity to receive the vaccine, however it was not mandatory. Also Smith said, “As far as I know… we are the first school district in the state to offer the whole staff a vaccine.” The Texas State Teachers Association has been pushing Gov. Abbott to place teachers on the vaccine priority list, however he has not done that yet.
According to the Texas Dept. of State Health Services (DSHS) there has been two phases for the roll out of the vaccine. First is the front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities (called Phase 1A) plus people over 65 or with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID‑19 (called Phase 1B) are currently eligible to receive the COVID‑19 vaccine.
Phase 1B recipients include:
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
- Solid organ transplantation
- Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Some have questioned about the timeline of when everyone else will be able to receive the vaccine, and DSHS has stated this Spring (2021) will be the best estimated time frame of when vaccine will be available for the general public, but that may change. It depends on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available. The Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) is considering what criteria could be used for later stages of vaccine distribution. This webpage will be updated when those decisions are completed.
The vaccine that the BISD staff received is from Pfizer. This vaccine is also a two phase shot and the those BISD staff who received the first shot on Friday Jan. 22, 2021 will come back on Friday Feb. 12, 2021 to receive the second shot (booster shot) to finish up the vaccine process.