GREAT FALLS — We’re learning more about Lewistown Public School's plans to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to their staff when the state enters Phases 1b and 1c in the coming weeks and months.
“If our teachers are willing to take the vaccine, we think that sends a good message to the whole community,” said Superintendent Thom Peck. “It sounds like we’ve done a similar thing to Great Falls. We did survey our certified teachers.”
Lewistown Public Schools has 92 teachers, and Thom says 66 indicated they would take the vaccine when it was offered to them, while 11 said they were on the fence. The district hasn’t sorted their staff into age groups or identified those with certain underlying health conditions yet, and has only taken surveys of teachers so far, and not other staff members.
School officials hope, as many people do, that this is a step towards returning to some sense of normalcy.
“We feel pretty good about those numbers,” Peck said, referencing the survey results of his teachers. “We feel like it would bring just sort of a mental gain and a feeling of safety and security and I think for the community, but especially for those teachers that would take the vaccine.”
A school employee that is under the age of 70 would fall into Phase 1c as a frontline essential worker unless they have certain qualifying medical conditions such as Asthma, Hypertension, or a weakened immune system. That could bump them into Phase 1b.