New nurse will allow ‘easier' access to COVID-19 vaccine in Charleston schools

VIDEO: New nurse will allow ‘easier' access to COVID-19 vaccine in Charleston schools

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Schools has hired an immunization nurse who will “allow faster and easier access to a COVID-19 vaccine once available," the district confirmed.

Adults will probably be the priority for the COVID vaccinations, representative Andy Pruitt said. The district says they plan to follow the protocols from the state’s department of health.

Marsha Glatt started Oct. 6, and her primary role is getting students up to date on common vaccinations through the federal program Vaccines for Children. She said the emphasis is on providing the required immunizations to students and then the recommended ones.

“We are the first district, we believe the first district, in the nation under this federal program in which we receive vaccines from the federal government, and we have the ability to deliver those vaccines,” Chief Operating Officer Jeff Borowy said.

The children eligible for the vaccines are those who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of an inability to pay, and the federal government is providing the vaccines to the school district for free.

The school board approved to fund the new nurse within the budget cycle and Borowy said she’s making $84,722.40 per year.

Glatt is based out of Mary Ford Early Learning and Family Center, and she says she’s starting with seventh graders because the grade has been deemed to have the most students without vaccinations countywide.

To date, there hasn’t been a board discussion about whether or not students going to school will be required to take a COVID vaccine once one becomes widely available.

“I haven’t heard anything specific from DHEC on that, and we haven’t had any discussion on that yet,” School Board Vice Chair Kate Darby said. “It would be the state requiring that. It wouldn’t be something that we as one district would require.”

A COVID-19 vaccine won’t become widely available to Americans until the middle of next year, according to CDC Director Robert Redfield.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.