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Sat, Jan. 23

Beaver Creek, Sedona-Oak Creek educators to get COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday
Verde Valley schools scheduled to get first Moderna vaccine Jan. 13-28

Karin Ward, Dennis Dearden

Karin Ward, Dennis Dearden

VERDE VALLEY — Wednesday, educators at Beaver Creek and Sedona-Oak Creek school districts will receive their first Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.

Karin Ward, superintendent at Beaver Creek School, can hardly wait.

“Yes, sir,” she said. “I’m going to be first.”

Ward said Monday that close to 50% of the district’s educators have said they want to be vaccinated for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

According to Sedona-Oak Creek Superintendent Dennis Dearden, approximately three-quarters of the district’s educators are interested in being vaccinated.

“This is an important step, one we have eagerly awaited, in our commitment to keeping our schools open for in-person learning,” Dearden wrote to the district’s families. “We are grateful to the Yavapai County Education Service Agency (YCESA) for facilitating delivery of vaccines in partnership with the Yavapai County Community Health Services.”

Sedona-Oak Creek will observe an early day on Wednesday, with a noon release at Sedona-Red Rock Junior/Senior High School, a 12:45 p.m. release at West Sedona School. The district will be in virtual learning on Thursday, Jan. 14.

“This will protect instruction should the potential temporary side effects of the vaccination necessitate more substitute teachers than we have available,” Dearden said.

Sedona-Oak Creek schools will return to in-person learning on Friday, Jan. 15.

With instruction four days each week, Beaver Creek will go with virtual learning on Wednesday and Thursday.

A two-step process, Beaver Creek and Sedona-Oak Creek educators will receive their second injection on Thursday, Feb. 11, according to the Yavapai County Vaccine Plan released in an email by YCESA Executive Director Stan Goligoski.

According to the two-step vaccination process, Goligoski said that the second injection would be given no sooner than 28 days after the first injection.

Goligoski explained that anyone who has had COVID-19 must be symptom-free for at least 90 days to receive this vaccine. Anyone who has ever had an allergic reaction via injection or has had any other allergic reaction should seek COVID-19 vaccination through their medical provider, he also said.

Educators are part of Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. According to the Centers for Disease Control website, Phase 1B includes essential workers, such as food and agriculture, utilities, police, firefighters, corrections officers, and transportation.

Within Phase 1B, Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) has sub-prioritized education, childcare and first responders, Director Leslie Horton said to the county’s school districts Friday in an email.

“In Yavapai County, we do not yet have adequate supply of vaccine yet to begin vaccinations of the (75-year-old or older), essential worker, and other populations in that same phase,” Horton stated.

Horton explained that YCCHS currently has “about 3,900 doses a week for the entire county.”

“Therefore, will be initiating 1B, but only with specific priority populations to receive vaccinations first,” Horton said. “We are phasing into 1B starting (the week of Jan. 11-15), yet not opening up vaccinations for all of the populations in 1B until we have adequate supply to do so and adequate providers on board to help us.”

Horton also stated that the county health department is “hoping to have the help of pharmacies and other healthcare partners ready to vaccinate more of those 1B populations as soon as the week of Jan. 19.”

“Please keep in mind also that we are still wrapping up vaccinations for phase 1A, and there will be some overlap of the phases until Walgreens and CVS have completed their vaccinations for long term care facilities,” Horton explained.

Beaver Creek educators will receive their vaccines on campus, Sedona-Oak Creek educators at Sedona-Red Rock High School.

Most Cottonwood-Oak Creek educators will receive their first injection on Thursday, Jan. 14, the rest on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent Steve King said.

Second injection for Cottonwood-Oak Creek educators is scheduled for Feb. 16-17.

Monday, King said he wasn’t sure whether he would be his district’s first person to be vaccinated – or his district’s last.

“If I go first, I’m setting an example,” King said. “If I go last, it’s like being captain of your ship.”

Clarkdale-Jerome and Mingus Union educators will receive their first injection on Tuesday, Jan. 19, their second injection on Feb. 17.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek, Clarkdale-Jerome and Mingus Union educators will receive their vaccines at the Cottonwood-Oak Creek District Office.

According to a recent survey, about 75% of responding Mingus Union educators said they would take the COVID-19 vaccine, Superintendent Mike Westcott said.

Camp Verde educators will receive their first injection on Thursday, Jan. 28, their second injection on March 2.

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