Johns Hopkins Medicine to Offer COVID-19 Vaccines to Baltimore City Public School System Employees
This week, Johns Hopkins Medicine will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 500 teachers and school staff working at in-person learning sites throughout Baltimore City Public Schools. Vaccinations for additional groups of city school teachers and support staff are planned each week for future weeks.
Under the plan developed in concert with Baltimore City Public Schools and the Baltimore City Health Department, prioritized city school employees working at in-person learning sites including meal service workers, teachers, custodians and administrative personnel will indicate their interest in receiving the vaccine. Up to 500 of those prioritized employees will be randomly selected to be vaccinated starting Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.
“At Johns Hopkins Medicine, our mission is to do everything we can to help Baltimore get back to business, and that includes the very important work of educating our youngest community members,” says Kevin W. Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “That mission starts with vaccinating our teachers and those who support them, and we are honored to collaborate with the Baltimore City Health Department and Baltimore City Public Schools to help speed up that process.”
The Johns Hopkins/city schools plan is separate from the city health department’s vaccination program. “We are committed to the success of this vaccination program and worked pedal-to-the-metal to pull this together quickly with the supplies we have on hand,” says Gabor Kelen, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine and professor of emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We will gladly ramp up operations, and we are hoping to get commitment from the state for more vaccine doses for this program.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine set aside 500 of our doses to ensure we were able to administer the vaccine to the initial group of city school employees.
“We know how important it is to the long-term health and well-being of our city and our neighbors to see the safe and successful reopening of city schools,” says Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “I am glad Johns Hopkins can fulfill its mission to support the city and its citizens — especially our youngest — through this urgent and important partnership.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine is already actively administering the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to personnel at all six of our hospitals in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida based on state guidelines.
While highly effective vaccines are now available — although in a limited supply — it is unclear if vaccination for COVID-19 prevents vaccinated individuals from carrying the virus and passing it along to others. Therefore, it is essential that everyone continues to practice proven public health measures to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, frequently washing hands and maintaining more than 6 feet of distance from others even after vaccination or COVID-19 infection.