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More than 90,000 Ohio teachers, school personnel expected to get COVID-19 vaccine this week

The president of the Ohio Education Association says about 80% of Ohio's teachers have expressed interest in being vaccinated.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Starting this week, more than 90,000 teachers and school personnel for grades K-12 across Ohio are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

“I think it’s going to be a significant number,” said Scott DiMauro, the president of the Ohio Education Association.

DiMauro says out of the 334,000 teachers and personnel, about 80% have expressed interest in being vaccinated. It’s a big step to get back to the classrooms full-time.

“We want nothing more than to be in classrooms with our students where we can provide the kind of individual support that they need,” DiMauro said.

In order to do that he says vaccinations are a crucial layer.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses and are 95% effective against COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson said its COVID-19 vaccine overall was 66% at preventing moderate to severe illness, and 85% against the most serious symptoms.

“I think the best advice today is to go with whatever vaccine is available to you,” Dr. Mark Herbert said.

Dr. Herbert is an infectious disease specialist with the Mount Carmel Medical Group. He says while one vaccine might not be as effective as another, any is better than none.

DiMauro shares that same message with state teachers.

“We are encouraging our members who, of course, have a choice to make in this, to get the vaccine as soon as it’s made available to them,” DiMauro said.

He says if teachers don’t take advantage of it when it’s offered there’s no telling how long they might have to wait for another chance.