Polk County Public Schools is taking another major step in the fight against COVID-19, partnering with the Florida Department of Health to secure vaccines for employees.
All PCPS employees who want to receive a vaccine are being asked to fill out an online survey, which takes just a few minutes to complete. The survey should be completed by Jan. 31.
Please note that only active PCPS employees are eligible for this program. Substitutes and charter school employees will not be able to participate.
The survey went live yesterday afternoon (Jan. 20). In less than 24 hours, more than 2,800 people have already expressed an interest in getting vaccinated. PCPS has approximately 14,000 employees.
“The response really shows the tremendous resolve of our employees,” said Teddra Porteous, associate superintendent of Human Resources Services. “They’ve been bravely working throughout this pandemic and performing many important roles in our educational system. They’re eager to better protect themselves and others, as well as help the community return to some sense of normalcy. Vaccinations will help make this a reality.”
The online survey will help the Florida Department of Health get an idea of how many doses to request from the federal government for PCPS employees. At this time, PCPS does not yet know if the doses will be the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine.
“We hope to begin having doses available for employees sometime in February,” Porteous said. “Once doses are available, we will begin emailing employees who filled out the survey and give them directions on how to register online to receive a vaccination.”
PCPS employees 65 and older will be given first priority when the vaccine becomes available. Gov. Ron DeSantis has directed that individuals 65 and older be prioritized to receive the vaccine.
“Many other employees are eager to receive the vaccine, including those who have underlying health conditions or other high-risk factors,” Porteous said. “We are working to make the vaccine available to any employee who wants it, but this will take time because there is tremendous demand nationwide. We are doing whatever we can to secure doses as quickly as possible.”
Several schools will be chosen to serve as employee vaccination sites. Specific days and times will be set aside for vaccinating employees. Vaccinations will be performed on a drive-thru basis. Employees should bring their PCPS badge and make sure they’ve registered online before arriving.