PWCS Will Begin Scheduling Vaccinations for Its Non-High Risk Employees

Graphic by Prince William County Schools
Today, Prince William County Schools will start offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments to in-school teachers and employees who do not fall within Tier 1 status or higher-risk occupations. To organize this phase of the rollout, PWCS will be prioritizing in-person school employees based upon the date upon which they returned to working within their buildings. After all or most in-person teachers and other in-school personnel have been scheduled, PWCS will schedule school employees based upon their assumed return-to-building dates. Tier 1 employees and those 65-and-older have already been offered the opportunity to have their first doses administered. Central office staff will not be scheduled within the current grouping. Prince William County Schools is now serving grades PreK-3 buildings via a hybrid 2-day a week model. Some special education and ELL populations have been learning in person since September. Additional grades may begin returning to school as earl as Feb. 26. The exact return dates are subject to change dependent upon a new directive by the Superintendent and/or a school board vote. Tier 1 educators who have been vaccinated last week should have their second doses completed before Feb. 26. The school board may decide to delay school return dates until all employees have had the opportunity to receive their second doses. Prince William County Schools has provided updated information on its vaccination efforts on its website, as well as a Q&A section. Updated January 26, 2021 - Prince William County Schools 

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) has been working to secure vaccinations for School Division staff through the Prince William Health District, INOVA, and Novant UVA Health System. PWCS has no control over the number of vaccinations available.

  PWCS continues to work as rapidly as possible to maximize all available vaccinations. As of January 2, 2021, all Tier 1 employees have been provided the opportunity for a vaccination, along with all those age 65 and older who have been working in person. Vaccinations will continue to be offered based on the priority listed below; additional invitations will be going out later today. By the end of next weekend, it is expected that approximately 3,200 staff members will have received their first vaccinations. Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) has been working to secure vaccinations for School Division staff through the Prince William Health District, INOVA, and Novant UVA Health System. PWCS has no control over the number of vaccinations available. PWCS has made its facilities and nursing staff available to support. As the health district partners make vaccines available, PWCS will move forward with registering the remaining teachers and staff in Prince William County, starting Thursday, January 28, with vaccines starting Saturday, January 30. As information becomes available regarding vaccinations for additional staff members, PWCS will share it with employees as soon as possible. UPDATE: BRISTOW BEAT, Jan. 28 at 3:15 p.m.  While Inova Fairfax had to cancel first dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments due to not received all the vaccines expected from the Virginia Department of Health, Novant UVA Health Systems has made arrangements to vaccinate school employees using vaccinations coming from the Prince William Health District.

Frequently Asked Questions As Of January 26, 2021

Q. When will I be eligible for my vaccine?
A. As appointments for vaccinations become available, they will first be offered in the approximate order below, some groups may be simultaneous. To ensure all vaccines are utilized, as last minute availability is open, some appointments may be provided to the other available groups:
  1. Tier 1 employees who have been working in-person. Tier 1 employees are those with an underlying medical condition, documented with PWCS Human Resources, that place them at high risk per the CDC if they were to contract COVID-19. (Appointments offered)
  2. All other Tier 1 employees. (Appointments offered)
  3. Those 65 and older who have been working in person. (Appointments offered)
  4. All other active employees over 65. (Appointments offered)
  5. Staff in high risk job as defined by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH). (Appointments offered)
  6. Instructional, administrators, and school support staff based on report date (example – staff in person in September before staff reporting in October, then staff in December, then January, then planned for February, etc.). (Appointments will begin to be offered starting afternoon of 1/26)
  7. Central office and other staff. (Appointments not yet offered)
Q. Are two doses needed for the vaccination?
A. Yes. The FDA has authorized both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, and CDC has recommended both vaccines; they both require two separate shots.
Q. Do I have to get a vaccine?
A. Vaccination is currently an employee’s choice, there is no requirement for vaccination. Although the decision to be vaccinated is a voluntary one at this time, an employee’s decision to remain unvaccinated will not be considered an impediment to reporting onsite as needed to support our in-person learning
Q.  I received an invitation to register. Can I share this invitation with other employees?
A.  No. Only employees who receive an invitation may register for their vaccine.
Q. What happens if I am forwarded the link and register, even though I am not currently eligible?
A. Do NOT share the link; it is specific for the individual receiving the email, and by invitation only based on priority, and only for PWCS employees.
Q. Can I register to get my vaccine during a school day?
A. Some vaccination times may be available during the school day. Employees may notify their supervisor of the need for the leave to receive the vaccination and they will be provided professional leave.
Q. Why do I need the COVID-19 vaccine? (Source: Prince William Health District)
A. The COVID-19 vaccine will greatly reduce your chances of getting COVID-19 and will ensure that if you do get the virus, you will have only mild symptoms or none at all. We don’t know yet why some healthy people become seriously ill or die from COVID-19, while other people with COVID-19 only become mildly sick. There’s no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Once vaccinated, your body will build immunity to the virus so you are less likely to get sick. Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Q. If someone already had COVID-19, do they still need to be vaccinated? (Source: Prince William Health District)
A. Yes, regardless of history (symptomatic or asymptomatic), they should get the vaccine.  In the clinical trial, there were patients with serologic evidence of previous infection. Patients should be out of the isolation period and out of the active stage of infection when they get vaccinated. The one exception for vaccination might be for those people who had COVID-19 earlier but who have not recovered completely and are still having long-term effects. If you are still having long-term effects after COVID-19, you should discuss COVID-19 vaccination with your healthcare provider. While there is otherwise no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. Thus, persons with documented COVID-19 in the preceding 90 days may delay vaccination until near the end of this period, if desired.
Q. Where can I get more information about the vaccines?
A. Visit the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control.


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