MUSD Staff Vaccination Efforts
IN ORDER TO KEEP STUDENTS AND STAFF SAFE
By Caitlyn Pendley, Health Services Coordinator
AS STUDENTS RETURN to in-person learning, it is more important than ever that everyone follow all safety protocols Madera Unified has put into place to keep students and staff safe.
Along with hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing, everyone in Madera County (based on the direction of the state and County Health Department), ages 12 and over, are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While some may be worried about receiving the vaccine, there are many benefits to getting it.
One myth that may keep people from receiving the vaccine is that it can cause COVID-19, which is not correct. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for the United States contain a live virus, so it can not make you sick with COVID-19.
Another myth is that receiving the vaccine will alter your DNA. None of the currently approved vaccines change or interact with your DNA. Although Pfizer and Moderna work a little differently than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, all of them work with your body’s natural defences to help protect against future infections.
It is important to remember that no vaccine is 100% effective. In clinical trials Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine showed a 72% efficacy, and Pfizer and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines have shown approximately a 94% efficacy, but all three vaccines showed 100% efficacy, in clinical trials, in preventing hospitalizations and death.
According to Sara Bosse, the Director of Public Health, by April 9th, approximately 25% of Madera County residents had received at least one dose of vaccine and approximately 14% of residents were considered fully vaccinated. A total of 60,776 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered to Madera County residents.
With Madera Unified’s existing partnership with Camarena Health, vaccine clinics were the perfect opportunity to work together to roll out COVID-19 vaccines and help get school staff vaccinated. Madera Unified was one of the first districts in the Central Valley to offer vaccines to its staff. Over 600 staff members took advantage of the Camarena clinics. The number of all staff vaccinated is not known, as many took advantage of clinics that were held at Madera County Public Health or also at Madera Community Hospital.
Madera Unified health services staff, including RN’s and LVN’s, were able to help with the Camarena clinics. This allowed for more people to be vaccinated, and it also provided for a familiar face for some who may have been anxious about receiving their vaccine.
MUSD Health Services will also be doing COVID testing of staff and students who volunteer to be tested. Screening testing will take place with staff and students that volunteer to be tested. This helps identify people who may have COVID but are asymptomatic or do not realize they may have been exposed. Health services will also be doing diagnostic testing of students to identify current infections of people that may be showing signs and symptoms of COVID 19 or have recently been exposed.
Health Services has also been working closely to COVID test athletic teams, including football, water polo, and indoor sports, such as volleyball, basketball, and wrestling.
The Health and Wellness Department of MUSD will continue to advocate for the safe return of students and staff, and follow the guidance of the CDC and our local health department.