Teachers Receive First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine


Photo Courtesy of Caroline Aldemir

Social studies teacher Wind Ralston, Spanish teacher Caroline Aldemir and choir director Adrian Rangel-Sanchez all received their vaccinations at Families Together of OC on Feb. 24.

Teachers and childcare workers became eligible on March 1 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The mRNA-1273 Moderna vaccine is 95% effective, according to an interview with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel with Science News. Although getting vaccinated is not required for teachers, many have chosen to. 

“The vaccine provides a hopeful future for PHS,” literary and language arts teacher Olivia Wallace said. “I think this is what we needed to transition back to normalcy, and I could not be more happy. I am excited to see what next year looks like.”

For some, finding available appointments has been a struggle as the demand for getting vaccinated is only increasing. On average, 1.7 million Americans are getting vaccinated daily, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. 

“It has been a struggle to get the vaccine. For the last couple of weeks, I was constantly checking Othena, the vaccine appointment app the district referred us to, and I would never see any appointments,” Wallace said. “When I would check pharmacy websites, I would only see appointments available for people living in Northern California. I even drove down to a clinic to just make an appointment in-person since I could not seem to reach anyone on the phone at that particular clinic, and they turned me away.”

Despite some teachers having a difficult time receiving the vaccine, others have already undergone the vaccine administration process.

“Once I had my appointment, I went to the location, checked in with ID and everything else and then got my shot pretty quickly,” literary and language arts teacher Katherine Hooper said. “A lot during this pandemic has been guessing on when things would open, return to normal, or just change again, so to have something that was promised actually come to fruition felt like a step in the right direction.”

Vaccinating childcare and education workers has been prioritized by president Joe Biden who proposed a $130 billion virus aid package to prevent COVID-19 cases at schools on March 2, according to the Washington Post.

“Since teachers are getting vaccinated, [the vaccine] will help protect the people in our society that are at the highest risk and give parents more confidence in sending their children back to in-person learning,” nurse James Matejcek said.