MARYSVILLE, Wash. — The Marysville School District is getting help from the Tulalip Tribes to vaccinate its teachers against COVID-19, likely weeks before many teachers in other parts of the state will have a chance to get the vaccine.
Tribes in Washington follow their own guidelines and are not bound by the state's vaccine phases.
In a letter sent to families, Marysville Superintendent Jason Thompson said teachers and support staff who will have contact with students have first priority for the vaccine.
"Initially, this will primarily be for those working with students in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade and those who are providing in-person learning for students farthest from educational justice," the letter states.
The goal is to vaccinate as many staff who chooses to be vaccinated within the next week.
The district made the announcement just hours after Gov. Jay Inslee held a press conference where he said he is not considering moving teachers up on the state's priority list for the vaccine.
He said the state just doesn't have enough doses, and he believes Washington schools can reopen as long as safety measures are taken.
"If you do other folks, it means one of the older people who may be 100 years of age can't get vaccinated," Inslee said on Tuesday. "And I just do not believe 25-year-old teachers think they should get in line ahead of their 80-year-old grandparents."
Under the state's current Phase 1B-Tier 1 guidelines, only teachers who are 65 and older, or those 50 and older who live in a multigenerational home, are eligible to get the vaccine now.
The next step, Phase 1B-Tier 2, allows K-12 teachers and school staff who are 50 and older to get the vaccine. Teachers under 50 years old have to wait for Phase 1B-Tier 4 to get the vaccine.