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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
Be a merchant of hope during uncertain times
From the ACSA President, Ron Williams
February 1, 2021
We live in uncertain times. Changes at home and around the globe are happening so fast we seem unable to keep up with them. The threat of COVID-19 is like a shroud covering the Earth. News reports with daily statistics of people contracting the virus as well as those dying from it threaten the deep human needs for security and predictability. All of this is exacerbated by a financial situation impacting survival needs for enough food and shelter. These statements are not from a prophet of doom, but someone who knows that school, district, county and state administrators are merchants of hope.
The first century educator Quintilian wrote about educators arranging victories for students in a labor of love. As educators, we are enacting what Quintilian wrote about. We also have embraced the role of essential worker. Opportunities for us to get the vaccine are sporadic, but vaccinations have started. Health care providers have worked tirelessly and unceasingly. In the midst of uncertainties, they are embodying hope and service.
We, too, have and continue to face uncertainties. In mid-March last year, leaders of the Association of California School Administrators acted on available information. Spikes as the virus spread delayed school re-openings. Administrators were thrust into technology, helping teachers implement large-scale distance learning. Learning curves were short to nonexistent. However, we are proceeding with the work of educating the youth in California.
ACSA wishes to thank Gov. Gavin Newsom for seeking our involvement on the advisory committee for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. We have provided real-time input for establishing distribution guidelines. The committee was convened in late November during the Thanksgiving holiday and has continued to meet regularly. The task force relies on the expertise of three workgroups: the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, the Drafting Guidelines Workgroup and the Community Advisory Vaccine Committee. Members have provided suggestions regarding distribution and vaccination processes.
The following processes, protocols and guidelines are intended to inform your decisions. They are subject to changes, so please visit the California Health Department website for updates.
Process for vaccine distribution
Once a week, the federal government announces anticipated distribution amounts of the vaccine for each state. These amounts are projections subject to change. California health care providers working with local health departments determine and request vaccine amounts. These requests are reviewed by the state. An order is then submitted to the federal government. The federal government authorizes the order and submits it to the manufacturer. The manufacturer or central distributor ships the vaccine directly to the identified local health care providers.
Learning curves were short to nonexistent. However, we are proceeding with the work of educating the youth in California.
Vaccine priority groups and phases while supply is limited
  • California’s distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccines is multi-phased: limited doses available; larger number of doses available; and sufficient supply of doses for entire populations.
  • California is committed to a fair and equitable allocation and distribution process.
  • Individuals with the highest risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19 will receive vaccines first. Later in 2021, most Californians will have an opportunity to get vaccinated.
  • High-risk Californians will continue to have priority access to COVID-19 vaccine as California moves through the phases.
  • Approximately 3 million health care workers and residents in long-term care settings will receive vaccines first (Phase 1A), followed by other Californians at high risk of exposure to the virus. This includes workers in education and childcare (Phase 1B).
  • When it is your turn, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19 before getting immunized.
How COVID-19 vaccines work
Vaccines help our immune system fight infections in the future. COVID-19 vaccines will protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness. It typically takes a few weeks after the last of two doses to become fully protected. On the days after taking the vaccine, you may have a sore arm, aches, fatigue or fever, but these are not harmful. These symptoms signal that your immune system is developing protection from the virus.
Benefits of getting vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are meant to prevent you from getting COVID-19 and from spreading it to others. The ability of COVID-19 vaccines to protect us from spreading the virus to others is not yet known but is being studied carefully.
Keep wearing a mask
All individuals, including those who have been vaccinated, should keep wearing masks, washing their hands and practicing social distancing until we bring an end to the pandemic. To protect your loved ones who have not yet been vaccinated, it is important to continue wearing a mask, physical distancing and washing your hands.
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