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San José Unified Secures Vaccine Opportunities for Its Entire Workforce

March 5, 2021

All 4,000 education workers in San José Unified provided vaccination opportunity

San José, CA – As soon as education industry workers became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, San José Unified began securing appointment opportunities for its entire workforce. Through its own health professionals and by collaborating with the state and with the county, San José Unified has been able to provide 100% of its 4,000 education workers a vaccine appointment opportunity. The timing of this comprehensive vaccination effort will help ensure that classrooms are staffed when students in grades TK through 12 return in person on April 21.

“Within the first four days of education workers being eligible to receive a vaccination, we were able to secure appointments for all employees that wanted the vaccine,” said San José Unified Superintendent Nancy Albarrán. “Reaching this milestone in such a short amount of time is evidence of what is possible when state and local agencies work together towards a common goal. We are grateful for the support from the State of California and the County of Santa Clara in prioritizing vaccine access to education workers.”

San José Unified has long invested in the health of its students, staff, and community and has 50 licensed nurses on staff. Over two-thirds of these nurses are volunteering with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to assist with COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We are proud to be a part of the effort to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Katie Rodriguez, RN and San José Unified’s Manager of Health Programs. “We have utilized every resource in our efforts to ensure all employees have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, including those that needed support scheduling an appointment online.”

The reopening date of April 21, 2021 was strategically set so that employees will be fully vaccinated when San José Unified’s TK-12 students return to campus. With time for the first dose, the second dose, and the additional two weeks after vaccination to build immunity against the virus, employees will not be required to quarantine per the state and the CDC. The limited quarantine exemption for those that are vaccinated will allow employees to continue working in person even if a student or other staff member tests positive for COVID-19, solving one of the biggest challenges in returning students to in-person learning: absences due to quarantine.

“We work year-round to fully staff our classrooms. Covering COVID-19 related absences has been a significant challenge for in-person services,” said Jacqueline Murphy, San José Unified’s Director of Human Resources. “The combination of employees being fully vaccinated and the limited quarantine exemption strengthens our ability to provide uninterrupted classroom instruction for the remainder of this school year.”

Widely recognized for its innovation and collaboration, San José Unified is Santa Clara County’s largest and most diverse school district. Learn more at www.sjusd.org.

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