This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — Teachers and staff at the Elk Grove Unified School District will be able to get COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Tuesday.

It’s one of the first school districts to start a vaccination program after getting the OK from state health officials.

EGUSD wanted to move ahead quickly when the approval was given by the state, even though infection numbers are still too high to begin in-person learning. It takes several weeks before vaccines become fully effective, even after a second booster shot.

EGUSD has 7,000 faculty and staff and it will take weeks to get those who want them both doses of the vaccine. It may be that long before infection rates get low enough to actually start in-person learning.

But for some teachers, the sooner the better.

“Make school, physical school a reality for students, us,” said James Sutter, the vice president of the Elk Grove Education Association. “It’s where we need to be. We need to be in the classroom, that’s where we want to be, and having that protection will secure that situation for us.”

The vaccinations will be administered at California Northstate University in Elk Grove. 

CNU has been operating community vaccination clinics since early January, immunizing thousands of area residents.

It’s uniquely equipped to handle the extra load of vaccinating district teachers and staff. The medical school has the cold storage units to store vaccine doses and the means to measure out doses.

It not only utilizes students and staff at its medical school and pharmacy school, but it also marshaled other community volunteers.

“Kaiser, UC Davis. In the community, nurses, physicians all joined us,” explained Xiaodong Feng, CNU’s vaccination clinic coordinator.

CNU has developed a six-station assembly line that also utilizes non-medical volunteers from the community, who include 200 volunteers from EGUSD for teacher vaccinations. With the extra help, they can double the clinic’s daily capacity.

Taking on an extra 400 vaccinations a day initially took weeks of planning.

“To make sure the vaccination program started tomorrow for them, the Unified School District Elk Grove, will go smoothly,” said CNU President Alvin Cheung.

Even though the vaccinations are not mandatory, the district hopes to inoculate custodians, bus drivers and early grade teachers first. Middle and high school classes will be the last to start.

“Everybody has enough time to get vaccinated,” said EGUSD spokesperson Xanthi Soriano. “We’re just grateful that the window is now open for us.”

The wildcard is the number of doses available. Given its track record, CNU is confident that it will be in front of the line.