Thanks to the dedication of staff and community partners, Bellingham Public Schools has offered COVID immunization opportunities to all BPS staff and community education partners. On March 2, Governor Inslee added educators and licensed childcare workers to the vaccine prioritization, which meant that all Bellingham Public Schools staff became eligible to receive the vaccine if they chose.
All BPS staff and community education partners have been offered first doses through these clinics and other connections with available vaccines in our community. Opportunities for second doses are being coordinated as well. This tremendous effort was spearheaded by BPS’s COVID Safety Team and is made possible by partnerships with Custom Rx Shoppe Pharmacy, Hoagland’s Pharmacy, PeaceHealth, and Unity Care NW.
“The community support for our staff has been phenomenal,” said Superintendent Greg Baker. “I especially appreciate the nurses, pharmacists, clinicians, volunteers, staff and medical partners who have made this effort possible.”
The clinics were made available to staff within days of the governor’s announcement because of months of preparation on the part of the COVID Safety Team and school nurses in coordination with community partners.
Staff appreciation of these efforts has been resounding. Heidi Anderson is a paraeducator at Northern Heights Elementary and received a first dose at the vaccine clinic in Ferndale, “It’s awesome to see so many district staff out here making this happen!”
“I chose to get the vaccine because I love my family and my community and this will help protect them,” said Cristina Manterola, Family Liaison.
President Biden has indicated that all adults will have access to COVID immunization by May 1.
“Getting the vaccine is extremely important,” said Isabel Meaker, executive director of family engagement. “We need to protect ourselves, our students and our local and global community. I can’t wait to see the vaccine available to everyone. Our community needs to be the vibrant community it was before the pandemic and the vaccine is going to help us get there very soon.”