School Vaccinations Begin for 91,000 Personnel Next Week

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With all public school districts in the state except one agreeing to resume in-person schooling by March 1, Ohio is rolling out vaccines to some 91,000 school faculty and staff next week.

Returning to in-person schooling was a prerequisite for having early access to the vaccine. Ohio has prioritized getting K-12 students back in schools by March 1 because many adolescents’ social-emotional and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic, according to a release from the office of Gov. Mike DeWine.

“We know some of our students have not been in the classroom in months – it’s taking its toll,” said Gov. DeWine. “For some, remote learning works, for others, it doesn’t. We are in danger of too many kids struggling for too long if they don’t get back to school in person.”

According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the change of routine and the constant uncertainty of the pandemic produces anxiety, and the disconnection from learning, emotional and social supports can lead to depression. Missing significant life events, such as graduations, proms, art performances, science competitions and sports can also result in grief, according to the release.

“School is community for our youth,” said Lori Criss, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “It benefits kids so much more than academic content. It’s the social and emotional connections that kids feel with friends, classmates, extracurriculars, teachers and more.”

In the Mahoning Valley, 49 schools and educational entities will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines next week. A majority are located in Mahoning County, with three in Columbiana County and none in Trumbull County, according to

Included in the 46 schools in Mahoning County are Youngstown City School District, Austintown Local Schools, Boardman Local, Campbell City, Canfield Local, Cardinal Mooney, Jackson-Milton, Poland Local, Ursuline and South Range Local. Other education facilities include the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, and Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. CLICK HERE for a complete list by county.

Other institutions in Mahoning County include those serving students with autism and those with learning difficulties, including ABA Therapy Solutions, ACLD School and Potential Development.

The three school districts in Columbiana County are Beaver Local, Columbiana Exempted Village and East Palestine City.

The Mahoning County Educational Service Center reports more than 3,000 employees in the county will receive the vaccine late next week. Employees who registered to receive the vaccine through their district will do so at designated Giant Eagle clinics between Feb. 4 and Feb. 6.

The deadline for employees to register has passed and no additional registrations can be submitted at this time, according to an ESC release.

“Our team has been working tirelessly to make this happen for our schools,” says Traci Hostetler, MCESC superintendent. “As with everything in this situation, things evolve quickly, and our team, as well as our contacts at local schools, have had to pivot and change plans at the drop of a hat. This collaboration has resulted in the opportunity for local schools to get vaccinated quickly, which will add another layer of protection for our staff and students.”

Individuals who have registered must attend the time and location they are appointed to. Each clinic receives only enough doses to vaccinate based on the paperwork that has been submitted with the state. No walk-ins will be admitted.

Schools who have partnered with Giant Eagle include Austintown Local Schools, Beaver Local Schools, Boardman Local Schools, Campbell City Schools, Canfield Local Schools, Columbiana Exempted Village Schools, East Palestine City Schools, Jackson-Milton Local Schools, Lowellville Local Schools, Mahoning County Career & Technical Center, Mahoning County ESC, Poland Local Schools, Sebring Local Schools, South Range Local Schools, Springfield Local Schools, Struthers City Schools, West Branch Local Schools, Western Reserve Local Schools, Youngstown Community School, Valley Virtual, ACLD School, Academy of Urban Scholars, Islamic Academy, Holy Family, Stambaugh Charter Academy, St. Charles, St. Nicholas, Summit Academy, Summit Academy Secondary of Youngstown, The Brilliance School, Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten and Youngstown Academy of Excellence.

Other schools have partnered with Youngstown City Health Department, Columbiana Health Department, Portage County Health Department, Akron Children’s Hospital and Youngstown City Schools will be using QuickMed located inside Youngstown City Schools.

More details on the state’s K-12 vaccination process will be released Friday, according to the DeWine press release.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.