EVART -- While teachers in Michigan were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Jan. 11, it will be another few weeks before they are available for staff at Evart Public Schools.

"I got all excited about vaccinations, because it sounded like in a week we were going to get them, but I got an email from our school nurse today and it looks like she said it may be February," Superintendent Shirley Howard said during a recent board of education meeting.

Howard said this is likely due to vaccine shortages throughout Osceola County.

According to a news release from the Central Michigan District Health Department, the entire vaccine allocation is being utilized, and they likely will be out of doses by this week.

While hoping to receive more, the health department said it may take several weeks before they are able to continue administering vaccines to those in the 1B category -- which includes school staff.

"I'm still hopeful that it's going to be sooner rather than later," Howard said.

In addition to immediate school staff, Howard said the vaccine will be open to other staff members, including those serving on the board of education, substitute teachers and coaches.

Despite the vaccine not being available for several weeks, Howard said the school district is preparing for when the health department receives more doses.

When it is available, the school district will set up a vaccine clinic at a school building to provide staff with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Howard said staff members have been polled to see how many would be receiving the vaccine when it becomes available. From the survey data, about 50% of staff members indicated they would like to receive the vaccine.

"I will let you know that I'm going to get it," Howard said.

The board of education will meet again at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 via Zoom.