CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Hamilton County Schools has teamed up with the State Health Department to use a system to help track the Covid-19 vaccination rate for teachers and staff.
“The Tennessee Department of health has a statewide database where all the vaccines that are administered in the state are recorded there. We proposed to them a data sharing agreement where they would only tell us the number of our staff that have received their first and second dose. We are not aware of who in particular has received their first or second dose, we just know the number,” says Jennifer Bronson Covid-19 Response Coordinator for Hamilton County Schools.
Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit organization that helps support safe school reopening and is a network made up of state and district education leaders.
“Vaccination rates are going to be a critical variable in the ability to open schools safely in the fall and most importantly to keep them open. What we don’t want is to open and then have outbreaks and uncertainties because we didn’t do the things that we knew would mitigate the effects of the virus,” Mike Magee , CEO of Chiefs for Change.
The study explains that Hamilton County’s process is aimed at limiting the need for quarantines, maximizing critical in-person instruction and combatting vaccine hesitancy throughout the district.
“It reflects where they really are in terms of their willingness to get the vaccine.But as a district We want to be respectful of people’s choice and now students even have the option to get the vaccine. We are hoping the dashboard shows that level of willingness among our staff,” says Bronson.
At this point the data shows 61% of all Hamilton County Schools staff members have been vaccinated which includes 65% of teachers.
To access this case study and other school information regarding reopenings click here.