Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch has told county school officials they must run COVID-19 vaccination clinics for their employees.
Branch told the school board Tuesday night that if BCPS cannot run the clinics, its employees will have to get in line with everyone else waiting to get the vaccine.
“The ultimate plan when there’s ample supply of vaccine is for the Baltimore County Public School System to be able to vaccinate their staff themselves,” Branch said.
He said school nurses and others who can run the school system’s clinics will shadow the health department staff at its clinics.
“This will prepare the public schools for running its independent clinics when we have vaccine available,” Branch said.
Under the state’s vaccination plan, educators can receive the vaccine now. Some county educators will be vaccinated by the health department for the first time this Friday.
Branch said BCPS will need to take that over once the county has enough vaccine available to give the school system a significant number of doses. That currently is not the case. Local officials don’t know week to week how many doses they will receive from the state.
Branch said BCPS eventually taking care of its thousands of employees will take some pressure off the health department. The school system will administer the shots, but the health department will continue getting and handling the vaccines until they are ready to be used.
If BCPS cannot run clinics, then its employees will not be prioritized and instead will be grouped with everyone else who is signing up at the county’s online vaccine registry.
At a news conference on Tuesday, County Executive Johnny Olszewski said more than 72,000 people had already signed in on the registry, which was launched Friday.
“Baltimore County is set to vaccinate another 8,000 residents this week.” Olszewski said.