CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — Anderson County Schools teachers will be able to get their COVID-19 shots soon, and all at one time.
Kathryn Price, Director of Nursing for the district, said the district petitioned to host its own clinic.
“We signed up to become a vaccine provider, so that means we can actually hold the vaccine in our school system,” Price said.
That means teachers and staff won’t have to schedule their own appointments at the local health department or pharmacy.
ACS is planning to have all staff getting the vaccine to meet at one location on a certain day.
“Which is exciting for us, because we can use our school nurses to be able to vaccinate our school staff and we can do that efficiently and quickly for all of our staff,” Price said.
School nurses had to train to administer the vaccine properly.
Price said the district also had to purchase new equipment in order to host the clinic themselves.
“We had to purchase refrigerators. We had to purchase data loggers,” Price said.
The refrigerators were special-ordered so they wouldn’t have an attached freezer, and so they can hold the Moderna vaccine at the right temperature. Price said the data loggers help keep track of the temperature.
Darren Leach, Principal of Clinch River Community School, said he’s pretty excited that his fellow coworkers will be giving the shot.
“You don’t have to go wait in line, and you’re going to be administered the vaccine by a health care professional that you know, who may well very be in school with your kids,” Leach said.
About 70% of teachers signed up to get their COVID-19 vaccines.
Leach said it’s a personal choice, but he thinks having someone you work with every day give you the shot helps more staffers say “yes.”
“Most of our staff is very excited about receiving the vaccine, and the fact that they don’t have to go through the red tape,” Leach said.
There’s no telling when COVID-19 restrictions will let up after teachers receive the vaccine.
District leaders say they make up only about one-third of the district’s population, so it’s no where near herd immunity.
However, being closer to getting the vaccine, Leach says, means getting closer to teachers being able to interact with their students more closely, and more students learning in person again.
“I think it’s kind of whispering an echo that perhaps there may be an end to this, and I think that’s encouraging,” Leach said.
Price said the district should have had its Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipment already, but due to winter weather the week before, it was delayed.
So, they are still waiting, but most of the details have been mapped out.
Whenever the shipment arrives, the district wants to give staff the weekend to recoup in case of any adverse side effects.
Price said they will host the vaccination clinic in a gym on a Friday and students will have that day off so teachers can focus on getting the vaccine.
“We are always every student, every day. And so, as a community here, we’re, in Anderson County Schools, we’re going to be able to all get our vaccines on the same day,” Price said.