California released a new plan Thursday outlining how the state will allocate vaccines to education workers as Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to push to reopen more schools to in-person instruction.
The Democratic governor announced last week that at least 10% of the state's vaccines would go to education workers starting in March, which translates to roughly 75,000 dedicated doses a week.
On Thursday, his office released an overview showing how those vaccines would be distributed. Each week, the state will provide doses to county offices of education for distribution. Teachers and other education workers will get single-use codes to make expedited appointments online.
The state will also host targeted drives for education staff at two mass vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles that are run in partnership with the federal government.
If 75,000 vaccine doses do come through each week, it could be a matter of weeks for California's 320,000 K-12 public school teachers to be inoculated.
The governor's office said it will allocate doses to counties based on the number of school employees there and also with an eye toward ensuring that students most affected by the pandemic — homeless and foster youth, low-income students and English learners — get back into the classroom.
Jeff Freitas, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said the plan helps move teachers closer to returning to classrooms but it’s still too soon to forecast a date for full reopening. CFT is recommending that school staff wait until they receive the second dose of vaccine before they return to in-person instruction.
At least 35 of the state's 58 counties are actively vaccinating education workers, the governor's office said. That includes San Francisco, which began Wednesday and made national headlines for suing its own school district to jump-start reopening plans.