PUSD teachers among first to get vaccines at Coliseum

Jana Branisa, PHS Technology Coordinator, was one of the first teachers to get her vaccine in Feb. 2021

When word circulated over the long weekend — via group texts, social media, and other informal networks — that educators were now part of Alameda County’s priority group for COVID-19 vaccination, a group of Piedmont teachers hopped online to the My Turn’ website and managed to get appointments at the Oakland Coliseum vaccination site for Tuesday, according to PHS computer science teacher Jana Branisa.

“My ballpark guess is 30 – 40 PUSD teachers were vaccinated today,” says Branisa, “and others were able to get appointments for later this week.”

Branisa told the Exedra that there does not appear to be an organized campaign to get teachers in the county vaccinated — APT, PUSD, school nurses, and individual teachers have all been trying to log in to the website but weren’t able to until Monday. She says the California Teachers Association sent an email today to its members alerting them to the new option. Berkeley, which operates its own health jurisdiction within the county, has its own vaccine eligibility guidelines that now include educators.

Alameda county residents with priority for the site include frontline workers, long-term care providers, people 65 and older, educators, with registration for available appointments online at https://myturn.ca.gov.

“Most of us spent a good portion of the day trying to get an appointment — the ‘My Turn CA’ website is glitchy and stopped accepting appointments yesterday at about 2 p.m. and then restarted later that day,” Branisa said.

Gillian Bailey, a PHS art teacher (pictured above) who was part of the group that signed up, said that even with vaccinations, teachers remain concerned about risk of spread and that safety continues to be a primary concern.

The location will eventually have the capacity to administer up to 6,000 vaccine doses per day, state officials said earlier this month.

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