Berkeley teachers to be vaccinated as schools prepare to reopen

The city has enough supply to vaccinate those who teach Pre-K through 2nd grade this week. They hope to get to teachers of higher grades in the coming weeks.

Video Transcript

- And speaking of that, teachers in the Bay Area starting to see some movement on the vaccine front. Two counties are going to start getting shots to teachers. This is, of course, a key step to getting kids back in classrooms. ABC7 News Reporter Amy Hollyfield live for us at one site in the East Bay, Golden Gate Fields. Hi Amy.

AMY HOLLYFIELD: Hi there. Yes, they will be vaccinating Berkeley teachers here at this mass vaccination site Golden Gate Field. The teachers union says this is exactly what teachers have been asking for.

Berkeley teachers say this is key to getting back into the classroom. After months of negotiations about distance learning and safety measures, getting vaccinated is the game changer.

MATT MEYER: Once vaccines became available, right, it just changed the conversation, right? And teachers overwhelmingly supported the idea that, once they're vaccinated, that they feel confident that they can work in classrooms with students who are mobile.

AMY HOLLYFIELD: But signing up wasn't easy, so the city is now involved, helping pave the way for teachers to get an appointment.

MATT MEYER: It's very exciting. People have had a lot of trouble finding their own vaccinations even though they qualify in Alameda County. So having a coordinated effort will ensure that everyone, basically, that's working at school sites will have vaccines.

AMY HOLLYFIELD: San Mateo County is also now vaccinating teachers. Officials there say they will be vaccinated as supply allows, pointing out supply has been an issue and asking everyone to be patient. In Berkeley, the teachers union says patience shouldn't be a problem.

MATT MEYER: In general, people are very excited because there was a lot of frustration about knowing that you could get vaccines but no one could actually find them. And now they're here.

AMY HOLLYFIELD: I just checked in with school officials about supply. They tell me they have enough to vaccinate those teachers who teach pre-K through second grade this week. And then they're hoping to get to the other teachers in the weeks to come. The plan is to get those young kids back in school in five weeks on March the 29th. And the teachers union tells me now they're starting to negotiate the schedule. Reporting live from Berkeley, Amy Hollyfield, ABC7 News.