The Long Beach Public Schools and three neighboring districts have collaborated with Mount Sinai South Nassau and Nassau County to open a COVID-19 vaccination pod to eligible education workers. Long Beach was granted 75 vaccination appointments for its staff members on March 5, when the initiative commenced with a morning press conference.
Long Beach High School Vice Principal Elizabeth Walsh-Bulger and Long Beach Middle School Interim Principal Keith Biesma joined Nassau County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Larry Eisenstein, Mount Sinai South Nassau Executive Vice President for Clinical and Professional Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adhi Sharma and administrators and staff members from the Island Park, Oceanside and Rockville Centre school districts, who are also involved in this pilot program.
While hospitals in New York State typically do not vaccinate non-health care workers, Dr. Eisenstein and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran were able to obtain county-designated vaccine that Mount Sinai South Nassau can offer to educators.
“We realize that as soon as we can get our teachers back, that ensures in person education for all students in Nassau County, every day,” Dr. Sharma said. “The County has vaccinated thousands and thousands of teachers, but there are still many left to be vaccinated so whatever little we can do to help, we are happy to do so.”
“I’d like to say thank you for the opportunity that’s being offered to our staff so that they can serve the children of our school safely,” Ms. Walsh-Bulger said. “I’m relieved, grateful and so happy to be here today.”
Ms. Walsh-Bulger and Mr. Biesma, along with attendees from the other districts, were vaccinated following the conference.