Officials in suburban Lake County are working to step up vaccination efforts for teachers, and it’s not a moment too soon as educators want to help speed up a return to normalcy both for themselves and for their students.
“I just think it’s a safe thing to do, and a responsible thing to do,” Warren Township High School teacher Rocco Oddo said.
Teachers eager to get the vaccine are receiving the shots at two schools in Lake County, including Stevenson High School and Round Lake High School.
“I want to get back into the classroom so badly,” Fox Lake District 114 art teacher Gayle Mcmanamon said.
Both schools volunteered space to help get teachers vaccinated during the pandemic.
“There’s many people contributing to what is a much larger solution to get us back to normal,” Round Lake Superintendent Donn Mendoza said. “Our kids need to be in school and one of the ways we can contribute to that effort is to get our teachers vaccinated.”
Nurses from the Lake County Health Department and the area school districts are administering the shots. The two pods have been months in the making, but health officials say that all that effort is worth it if it means moving toward a more normal future.
“We hear from a lot of parents daily,” Lake County Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator Patti Corn said. “They want their kids back in school, and this is the quickest way to get them there.”
Teachers in Lake County interested in signing up for the COVID vaccine say that things went very smoothly. Teachers can register online for the shots, and choose the location they want to travel to in order to receive the treatment.
The number of vaccines available will vary weekly depending on supply. The teachers are screened on site, vaccinated, then wait for 15-to-30 minutes, in accordance with CDC and local health department regulations.
As teachers continue to get their vaccines, they’re looking forward to a day when they can all be back in their classrooms.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Mcmanamon said. “I think what the superintendents have done in working together has been powerful and has made a huge difference for the teachers, parents and students in the community.”
Approximately 3,700 teachers have been vaccinated so far, and 20,000 are eligible in the county, according to officials.