Hamilton County Schools employees to be offered coronavirus vaccines Saturday

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Lab Assistant Al Nelson fills syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Clinica Medicos on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tenn. One to One Health, the healthcare partner of Hamilton County Schools, will vaccinate teachers and school staff on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.

One to One Health, a health care partner with Hamilton County Schools, will provide COVID-19 vaccines to school system employees at an event Saturday.

"They will begin offering voluntary vaccinations on Saturday and scheduling is underway," said communications officer Cody Patterson in a written statement. "We are prioritizing school-based staff in this initial round of doses on a first-come, first-serve basis."

There will be 1,000 doses administered on Saturday with a guarantee for a follow-up, said Dr. David Bruce, a physician and one of the medical directors of One to One Health's COVID-19 task force.

Hamilton County and the state of Tennessee entered vaccination phase 1b Monday, and the county health department began offering vaccines to teachers and people age 65 and older this week. The vaccination event was supposed to take place last weekend, but was put off due to available resources and inclement weather, Bruce said.

Prior to Hamilton County's move into phase 1b, 650 Hamilton County Schools staff members had access to the vaccine, Patterson said. Some districts moved into phase 1b earlier, and some Hamilton County teachers traveled to them to be vaccinated. The district encourages people who have already made vaccine appointments elsewhere to keep them.

Along with the vaccination event, the school district will stop using its Phase Tracker in mid-March and will make decisions on a school-by-school basis, according to the statement. The Phase Tracker utilizes county health department data in five-day increments to track active COVID-19 cases in the community.

The district declined to state where the vaccination event will be held. Teachers and staff will schedule appointments online using their HCDE credentials, Patterson said.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at achaturvedi@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.