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Triad prepares for teacher COVID-19 vaccines

About 4,600 school staff members are signed up for vaccinations in Guilford County Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Coronavirus vaccinations for school staff start across the state Wednesday but plans vary across the Triad.

About 4,600 school staff members are signed up for vaccinations in Guilford County Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All of them must teach in Guilford County to be eligible but they do not have to live in Guilford County to get their shots.

The county will use all of its first dose vaccine supply for school staff over the next two weeks. The hope is to vaccinate 80 percent of staff, including substitute teachers.

"They're part of the team, they're with the kids in the classroom, they are doing the work so they are eligible to receive the vaccine," Public Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann said.

Cone Health will help with teacher vaccinations on Saturday using the county's doses. The health system will use its own doses to vaccinate healthcare workers and older adults in the county.

In Alamance County, Cone Health will help with vaccinations for teachers during a mass vaccination clinic on Saturday.

Rockingham County Health Director Trey Wright said they are planning a clinic for about 1,100 school staff on March 7.

"If we receive the allocation to get everyone in one quick wave and continue on with our 65 and older and healthcare group," Wright said.

There is no clinic planned for school staff in Randolph County. Instead, teachers will join the previous vaccine groups still trying to get their shots.

Randolph County Health Director Susan Hayes said opening to the next phase will add more demand when there already is not enough supply.

"I honestly do not know how to balance all of that," Hayes said, "With the amount of vaccine that we're getting which is around 1,000 doses a week right now it's very difficult to manage that."

She said her county does not have the resources that larger counties like Guilford and Forsyth have for organizing mass clinics.

"It is very different when you have coliseums and things like that that you can depend on," Hayes said, "We're working very hard to make sure everybody that's eligible in our county gets vaccine."

Forsyth County will begin vaccinating teachers with the help of Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health on Wednesday.

RELATED: Alamance County Health Department, Cone Health to hold mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic

RELATED: NC COVID-19 Blog: Teachers become eligible for vaccines on Wednesday

RELATED: Guilford County Schools will operate on a remote learning day Friday as teachers, staff get vaccinated