The Pasadena Unified School District began administering COVID-19 vaccinations to district employees and staff 65 and over this week in an effort to vaccinate all 2,400 district workers by mid-March. The district is reportedly the first Southern California school district to begin such a program.
Teachers and staff members gathered at McKinley School Thursday with 50 employees expected to receive the Moderna vaccine, according to a PUSD spokesperson.
“We are distributing the Moderna vaccine because that is the one allotted to us,” said PUSD Children’s Health Director Ana Maria Apodaca.
According to a statement from the district, vaccination clinics are limited to school and district office employees. PUSD will eventually provide vaccines to all of its employees, including teachers, school district workers and substitutes, according to the state’s prioritization.
“While the vaccine is voluntary, we are strongly encouraging all PUSD employees to get vaccinated,” said PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Getting the vaccine will help protect our staff and students as schools prepare to return to in-person learning.”
McDonald added, “We can now see some light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel, and our future starts now.”
No official date has been set for the return of students to campuses, but the district “is prepared to open in phases for in-person learning when it is safe to do so,” said a district statement.