Santa Clara County has opened a new site aimed at vaccinating education workers, officials announced Monday.
The new site, located at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, will have the capacity to vaccinate at least 500 educators a day.
"Educators and school personnel are some of our most essential workers and having vaccines available helps ensure a safer learning environment for students and staff," said Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education will work with local school districts to manage outreach and appointments, with specific focus on those in school districts most impacted by COVID-19.
The site will be staffed by fire, EMS, law enforcement and local government personnel throughout the county - a collaboration Dewan said "expedites access to vaccinations for the workforce."
They are the same staff that have been operating sites since vaccinations started in late December.
"As the initial mission of our clinic nears completion, we are proud to be part of the next phase of vaccine efforts," said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Glass of the Santa Clara County Fire Department. "Protecting our educators protects our communities and brings us closer to a return to normalcy."
The new educator-focused site comes as the state announced a $6.6 billion legislative package to support the statewide reopening of campuses. The state expects grades K-6 to resume in-person operations by the end of March and grades 7-12 by early April.
Workers in education, along with those in child care, emergency services, and food and agriculture industries became eligible for inoculation on Sunday.
On March 15, eligibility will expand once again to include those 16 years and older with at least one severe health condition.
Conditions include cancer, stage four or higher kidney disease, pulmonary diseases necessitating oxygen, Down syndrome, a weakened immune system due to an organ transplant, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart conditions like coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathies.
Vaccine eligible residents can make an appointment online at sccfreevax.org or by calling 211.