The race to get our teachers vaccinated


Wendy Connelly

Amador teacher Wendy Connelly is glad to have her first vaccine dose!

Renna Popli, Junior Editor

COVID-19 vaccines are being made available to certain groups of high-risk people and essential workers, and teachers are on that list. 

California is currently in phase 1B of vaccine distribution. This means that the vaccine is available to healthcare workers, people of age 65 or older, and those who are working in food/agriculture, education and childcare, and emergency services. This means that most teachers either have received or should be able to receive the vaccine soon.

“I have been eager to get vaccinated for quite some time since we have a very high-risk family member….Finally, this past Monday (President’s Day), in anticipation of the opening of FEMA’s Colosseum mass vaccination site, the state opened appointments up for teachers. I got on within the first hour and made my appointment for the very next day — opening day! Yesterday I drove there to be vaccinated and it was so professionally run. CalFire workers were handling the shots, and they truly did an excellent job. I was in and out without a wait,” said AV English teacher Stacey Sklar

Educators all over the state and the country are being given access to vaccines, including our own AVHS and PUSD teachers. Vaccine distribution sites have been set up in major locations throughout the Bay Area, namely the Oakland Coliseum and even some Walmart pharmacies. 

“I heard that those in group 1b were now eligible for the vaccine, which includes educators…About mid-day on Monday, Mrs. Farthing sent me a text saying appointments were now available.  I jumped back on the website and was able to secure an appointment for Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at the new FEMA run mass vaccination site at the Oakland Coliseum!…I was a little nervous because I wasn’t really given instructions about how it would work and where to go…[but] all my apprehension was for naught. The site was easy to find and navigate, the teams of staff from various government organizations were friendly and helpful…I was really impressed with how well it all was run and impressed to see folks there from the military, FEMA, National Forest Service, HIghway Patrol, and Oakland PD,” said AV science teacher Tony Dennis. 

Some teachers were pleasantly surprised with how easy the process was.

“I was vaccinated yesterday (2/16) at the Oakland Coliseum. The experience was quick and easy! Admittedly, I was nervous about how the shot might feel. The gentleman who vaccinated me was a paramedic.  He made sure I was comfortable and talked me through the entire thing.   The shot was literally painless; I did not feel it at all.  Afterwards, I was told to wait in a holding area for 15 minutes.  This is to make sure patients don’t have any adverse reactions to the vaccine. The entire experience lasted 20 minutes.  I was impressed by how organized and efficient the team was at the Coliseum,” said Amador English teacher Julie Boe. 

For many people who have been lucky enough to receive the vaccine, it feels like a big step towards normal life. 

“It is a huge relief to have begun the process. One step closer to getting to see my students and return to a normal life!” said Sklar. 

Even though precautions are still necessary, access to the vaccine is a huge relief. After almost a year in quarantine, things are finally looking up. 

“After getting the shot and sitting in my waiting lane for the 15 minute wait afterwards, I realized what a relief it was for me to get that first vaccine. I didn’t realize until then how much tension I was holding around this issue. It felt like a step towards returning to normal…a small one…but a step in the right direction!” said Dennis.