Wake teachers step to front of class after officials clear vaccine waiting list :: WRAL.com

– Nearly 400 teachers, school staff and child care workers received their first coronavirus shots in Wake County on Wednesday, the first day educators were eligible in the state.

“I was surprised that I was chosen so quickly,” said Jennifer Hyatt, an elementary school teaching assistant. “I feel like I can take a breath, you know, a sigh of relief, because it’s been a long year.”

Just a few days ago, it seemed like educators would have to wait a while behind tens of thousands of healthcare workers and people 65 and older who had already signed up for vaccinations. But after Wake County officials reviewed the list and removed those who had signed up numerous times and others who had already received vaccinations elsewhere, only 100 names remained, allowing teachers to line up.

About 12,500 educators have already signed up for vaccinations in Wake County, and about 3,000 of them have scheduled appointments, authorities said.

“I think we are really taking a turn in terms of our ability to keep up with the flow of people in need,” said Matt Calabria, Chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “We’re going to be able to move quickly through educators and make sure they get vaccinated so they can go back to the classroom and feel more comfortable when they are there.”

Tawana Francis, a preschool teacher, said she is protecting her 3-year-olds and their families by getting vaccinated.

“I feel like I’m doing my part to get back to some kind of normalcy,” Francis said.

He has already contracted the coronavirus and said he does not want to risk getting sick again.

“When you are a certain age and you have underlying conditions, because I am diabetic, every day I was waiting and praying to be fine because when you hear that the numbers keep increasing, it worries you,” she said.

Keith Sutton, chairman of the Wake County Board of Education, said it will take some time to vaccinate most of the school district’s 11,000 teachers and another 9,000 school workers who want to receive the vaccines.

“It’s going to take a while, and that’s mainly due to the size of Wake County and the supply,” Sutton said.

As for Hyatt, his mother is 85 years old and the pandemic has kept them apart.

“I’ll be able to see my mom soon,” he said. “I’ll be more relaxed when I see it. That will be great. “


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