HISD begins vaccinating school first responders, with teachers up next in rollout plan

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues, Houston Independent School District is working on a plan to vaccinate its teachers.

At Thursday night's board meeting, the district announced that nurses at schools across the district are starting to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccination process started last week, and was specifically for nurses and other school first responders, like campus police officers.

Interim Superintendent Granita Lathan says they've been working closely with the Houston Health Department to coordinate a rollout plan.

Right now, school nurses are being trained on how to administer the shot so they can start giving the vaccine to teachers and other school staff when more become available.

At the meeting, the school board also discussed a partnership with Kroger that is allowing an additional 300 shots to be administered to HISD staff Saturday. Staff members who qualify for these shots have already been notified.

RELATED: HISD and Kroger partnering up to distribute COVID-19 vaccine to district staff
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ABC13 answered vaccine-related questions on specific Houston-area hospitals, major pharmacies and Phase 1B patients.

The first confirmed case of the variant strain of COVID-19 in Texas was identified in Harris County Thursday. Board member Anne Sung brought the topic up at the meeting.

"I think with this new strain that's more transmissible, we need to do everything we can to protect our students and our staff," she said.

The district says the board voted unanimously to extend paid leave to employees who are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis. Those benefits initially expired at the end of 2020.

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SEE ALSO: Are HISD teachers next on the list to get COVID-19 vaccine?
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ABC13's Miya Shay breaks down what other avenues are available to Houston-area residents struggling with getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

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