The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously last week to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees by Oct. 31.
Since the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23, the board agreed there was no longer a reason to wait to mandate the vaccine.
In an effort to gauge current vaccination numbers, the district sent out a required vaccine attestation survey for CHCCS staff. As of Aug. 31, 77 percent of staff members have completed the survey. Of that 77 percent, 93 percent of staff reported being fully vaccinated.
Although a large percentage of CHCCS staff report being fully vaccinated, Superintendent Nyah Hamlett said the district is committed to overcoming the different barriers CHCCS staff members may have to be vaccinated.
In addition to doing individualized outreach, Hamlett said the district plans to further analyze the survey data.
“We would then break it down by race, break it down by classified and certified staff, and look at where those gaps might lie,” Hamlett said. “(Then) working with our staff to be as flexible as possible while also giving more time to allow folks to get the vaccine if they might be a little bit hesitant.”
The board also moved to host information sessions with medical professionals in the near future and provide additional outreach to those who may be hesitant to receive the vaccine.
“This isn’t something foreign that we have never done before,” board member Mary Ann Wolf said.
CHCCS has enforced vaccine requirements for teachers for years. A health certificate confirming immunizations like tetanus, hepatitis B, MMR and PPV are required in order to work with the district.