Metro Atlanta school district sets up mass vaccination site for teachers next week

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Plans are underway to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to thousands of teachers and staff at schools across metro Atlanta and Georgia in the coming weeks.

Next week, employees of the Hall County School District will receive the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a mass vaccination site south of Gainesville. The school system is partnering with the District 2 Georgia Department of Public Health and Free Chapel of Gainesville, which is hosting the event Thursday and Friday at its campus on McEver Road. The vaccine is voluntary for the 3,400 Hall County School District employees.

[SPECIAL SECTION: COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia]

“Roughly about half of our people showed an interest in receiving the vaccination, so we are encouraged by that. That was several months ago when we did the survey, so we are gathering more information to see if that number has increased,” said Hall County School District spokesman Stan Lewis.

Lewis says it may be easier to convince employees to take the coronavirus vaccine when only one shot is required.

“We are very excited. We are trying to get as many people who work for our school district to get vaccinated as possible,” said Lewis.

[LINK: Where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia]

The head football coach at West Hall High School doesn’t need any convincing. Krofton Montgomery said he and his players are eager to return to some sort of normalcy.

“Just something where we can start having fans without a number to abide by. Have practices where you can have kids in and out, provide them with water, some of the things you take for granted, that have really changed over the last year,” said Montgomery.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

An assistant principal at North Hall High School said he, also, is eager to get vaccinated, not just to protect his health but for a larger cause.

“For our society to function properly, our schools need to be open. And for the schools to be open, we need teachers healthy to help run the schools so this is a great step toward that and getting things back,” said assistant principal Kenny Childs.

The mass vaccination clinic for school employees takes place March 11-12. Additional clinics will be scheduled if necessary.