The designated secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education (DEPR), Elba Aponte Santos, announced that on Tuesday, January 19, the vaccination process against Covid-19 will begin for personnel of the public education system and private schools of All the island.
Aponte Santos reported that the first three vaccination centers will begin to operate in the towns of Bayamón, Mayagüez and San Juan.
More sites will gradually be opened in other parts of the island to meet the expectation of inoculating about 55,000 people, including employees of private schools, an effort that will be announced shortly.
As indicated, the centers assigned to DEPR will operate from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The logistics indicated Aponte Santos, will be established through the regional superintendents in collaboration with their school directors. Each regional superintendent shall establish the days and hours in which the school personnel of his regional educational office (ORE) will be vaccinated.
“The Puerto Rico Health Department and the Puerto Rico National Guard, in collaboration with DEPR, have established the logistics to guide us to provide learning services for our students in person, safeguarding their health and safety. For now, three vaccination centers have been established and, eventually, more will be opened ”, explained the designated secretary.
The National Guard evaluated and selected the centers for PRDE personnel. Those that start operating on Tuesday are the following:
Bayamón region: Rubén Rodríguez Bayamón Coliseum
Mayagüez Region: Mayagüez Sports and Recreation Palace
San Juan Region and Central Level: Federico Asenjo San Juan Pre-Technical School
For his part, the Secretary of the Department of Health, Carlos Mellado indicated that “the vaccination work with DEPR personnel will be carried out in various areas to facilitate the process and to be able to vaccinate employees who have already expressed interest in the consultation they made. the agency. We have been working in various places throughout the island to establish vaccination spaces according to the availability of the vaccine ”.
In the case of the municipal islands, the National Guard brought the process forward this week and was able to vaccinate 20 teachers in Culebra and 107 teachers in Vieques.
“By the nature of their work, teachers and other education professionals need to be protected in order to protect our children and youth,” said the Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, Major General José J. Reyes. We urge all Education personnel to go to the vaccination centers established in their educational region, several of which are operated by the Puerto Rico National Guard. We all seek to return to normalcy, but we must do so wisely and responsibly. Along with social distancing measures and the use of masks, vaccination is the most effective weapon we have to control and eventually counteract the virus, ”Mellado stressed.
Similarly, in the case of the nearly 800 Central Level employees, they must go to the Federico Asenjo Pre-Technical School in Barrio Obrero when their supervisors indicate and deliver the documents that they must bring to their appointments.
The school nurses will support the National Guard in the process. They received, during the month of December, training on vaccines through an alliance with VOCES Vaccination Coalition and the Department of Health. School nurses will be vaccinated on Saturday, January 16 at the National Guard vaccination centers.
The DE stressed that the day employees are vaccinated, they will be exempt from vacation or sick leave.
Likewise, since the process involves two doses, employees must be available to receive the second dose – at 21 days in the case of the Pzifer vaccine and at 28 days in the case of the Moderna vaccine – which will be administered punctually in the same center where you received the first one.
The DE has a total of 24,536 teaching staff and 13,010 non-teaching staff. Although it is recommended that, as a public health measure, all personnel be vaccinated against Covid-19, no worker will be forced.