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Waterbury Public Schools off and running with vaccinations

Teachers in Waterbury started receiving the vaccine Monday, kicking off a week of great significance for the leader of Waterbury Public Schools.

WATERBURY, Conn — When school districts start vaccinating teachers and other school personnel varies from district to district., but Waterbury is among the more aggressive. 

Teachers in Waterbury started receiving the vaccine Monday, kicking off a week of great significance for the leader of Waterbury Public Schools.

"As we're talking of opening schools more fully, for a longer period of time during the day, this sounds like we’re able to deliver on the promise," said Dr. Verna D. Ruffin, Superintendent of Waterbury Public Schools.

The promise to keep students and staff safe during a pandemic. 

Dr. Ruffin says the aim is for a full day of in-person learning to begin sometime this month.

"From the WTA perspective, we would want that date to coincide with full vaccinations of teachers or at least as close as we can get to that," said Kevin Egan, a Waterbury elementary school teacher and President of the Waterbury Teachers' Association. 

Most of the vaccine activity will begin Tuesday for Waterbury school personnel.

"I’m getting word already that our teachers have been able to make appointments and are actually starting today to re-receive vaccines from a couple of different clinics," said Egan.

"As soon as the registration opened at 9 in the morning, by 1 o’clock we had over 500 people registered," said Ruffin. "I mean that was amazing."

Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary says, if there is enough supply, the City can get all 4,000 school employees vaccinated in four or five days. That's reassuring says the Superintendent.

"Just to know that the only thing that stops us from going any faster is just the availability of the vaccine not because were handicapped but not having the right people in place," Ruffin added.

Egan says the Superintendent has been very good about making sure that teachers, with a preexisting condition, have gotten placements they are comfortable with during this pandemic.