LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools will begin vaccinating employees for COVID-19 on Jan. 22 at Broadbent Arena.

The district will begin drive-thru vaccinations with elementary school employees and will go in alphabetical order by school name, said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio, who expects 1,200 staffers to receive the first dose of the vaccine per day. 

School nurses got vaccinated last week.

The hope is for all school employees to be vaccinated by Feb. 1 with booster shots to follow before students can return to class.

However, it depends on the vaccine. Dr. Pollio said he believes teachers will get the Moderna shot, which means it would be 28 days before they could get their booster and have to wait a week after that.

Pollio will report back to the board of education which has final approval on when students can return to school.

"Hopefully, with the approval of our board, we will be able to begin (in-person) school shortly after that," the superintendent said Thursday. "Obviously, looking at our primary grades first, middle school second and high school third. What that means for us, I'm pretty confident that we have the opportunity to get back to in-person school." 

Pollio's announcement came hours after Gov. Andy Beshear said that Kentucky's K-12 educators who agreed to receive the vaccine should receive their first dose by the end of the first week of February. That would allow educators to receive their second dose of the vaccine within the first few weeks of March. 

JCPS employees will not be required to get the vaccine.

A presentation from a recent Jefferson County Board of Education meeting shows 12,884 JCPS employees asked to receive the vaccine compared to 1,900 who declined in response to a district survey. Renee Murphy, JCPS' communications director, said about 3,500 employees did not respond to the district’s survey. They were officially listed as declining a vaccine, according to the board of education's presentation.

According to Toni Konz Tatman with the Kentucky Department of Education, 82,158 public and private school educators and support staff members had requested a vaccination as of Jan. 5.

Most of JCPS' nearly 100,000 students have been learning from home since the start of the pandemic 10 months ago.

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