Spokane Schools hoping for mass vaccination clinic as state lays out plans to vaccinate more teachers

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools has been vaccinating its eligible teachers. The district has been using some of its high schools to do that in the evenings.

“I think they’re finally seeing that light at the end of the tunnel,” said Becky Doughty, the health services director with Spokane Public Schools.

Doughty is the guide holding that light. She and her nursing staff have vaccinated roughly 900 district employees with the help of other health partners. She’s hoping they can get a mass vaccination clinic soon.

“We’re hoping in the future, in the next few weeks, maybe, to be able to have like an all day clinic where we can vaccinate 1,700 people,” she told 4 News now.

RELATED: Plans underway to get teachers, child care workers vaccinated

It’s still tough to get their hands on the vaccines. It’s the same case everywhere else.

The Washington Department of Health says next weeks allocation is still about 100,000 doses short of what it’s asking for. It’s getting about 300,000 doses this week.

Though they’re not getting what they’re requesting, it is getting better.

Doses will also be going to pharmacies, which will be designated to help vaccinate teachers, other school staff and child care workers.

“The best place for educators and child care workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine is through that Federal Pharmacy Program,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, the deputy secretary of health with the DOH.

Six pharmacies in Washington will get about 65,000 doses this week and 72,000 next week.

Those six pharmacies include:

  • Safeway and Albertsons
  • Walmart
  • Costco
  • Rite Aid
  • Health Mart
  • Kroger

“We’ve been told by the federal government that the providers in this program will prioritize educators and child care workers at their sites through the end of March,”  Fehrenbach said.

Although they recommend going through the Federal Pharmacy Program, teachers, other school staff and child care workers can get the vaccine elsewhere.

The end of the month is the goal, at the federal level, to get all teachers one dose. It’s a goal the state, and Doughty, believe could happen as more vaccines come in every week.

In the meantime, Doughty is being the guide for the district staff to find vaccines wherever they can to get to that light at the end of the tunnel.

“I wish this would’ve happened sooner, like everybody did. We’re just very thankful where we’re at right now, and the need was finally understood that we need to have this done for our K-12 staff,” she said.

RELATED: DOH: Pharmacies will be key to vaccinating Washington educators