Washington Sen. Hawkins calls for school employee vaccinations

Washington
Photo courtesy of Senator Brad Hawkins' office.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senator Brad Hawkins, who represents the 12th legislative district of the state of Washington, continues to stress the importance of vaccinating school employees. This comes on the heels of school districts throughout the state, including in the Tri-Cities, making determinations about sending students back to school.

In a release sent on the morning of Thursday, January 14, 2021, Sen. Hawkins called for a statewide ‘School Employee Vaccination Day’.

“I’m calling on Governor Inslee to designate February 1 as our state’s ‘School Employee Vaccination Day’ and for the Department of Health to allow school districts and health care providers at the local level to coordinate access for any school employee who wishes to get vaccinated,” Sen. Hawkins said.

RELATED: Richland Middle and High Schoolers return to in-person learning in January

Currently, Hawkins serves as the ranking Republican member on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. He recently issued a letter to Gov. Inslee and Washington state Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair A. Shah, asking that all school employees receive access to vaccinations.

“Let’s not overthink this,” Hawkins said. “Start planning today to set aside two dates in February for both doses. Providers can get lists from their school districts, ask staff to present identification cards, and start getting vaccines in people’s arms. School employees are critical workers and deserve to be protected as soon as possible.”

RELATED: KSD students petition to keep learning from home

Just yesterday, the Kennewick School Board voted to resume hybrid learning for Middle and High School students in the second half of the 2020-21 school year. The Richland School District came to a similar decision yesterday morning.

Though there’s been growing support to get students back into classrooms, some students fear what it might mean for their families, teachers and school faculty.

Washington state has eclipsed 280,000 known coronavirus cases and currently stands at 3,838 deaths, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

RELATED: Kennewick middle schools open to students this month; high schools soon after