Kaneland School District 302 in southwestern Kane County was forced to cancel classes Thursday after more than 100 teachers and staff members called in sick following their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Wednesday night, approximately 45 staff members had been signed out as ill, but by 5 a.m., that number went up to 125, according to Dr. Todd Leden, superintendent of the school district.
While Leden said the school district has great substitutes, they weren't enough, and the district was forced to declare an "emergency day."
In a letter to families last week, the district informed families of planned staff vaccinations through the Kane County Health Department adding, "We have been informed that after this second dose, more people may experience increased side effects."
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Dr. Michael Bauer, the medical director at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, told NBC 5 he wasn't terribly surprised.
"When we first rolled out to nurses and health care workers, we put ratios at upwards of 20 to 25% needing to be out for the next day or two," he explained.
Bauer advises to see your doctor if you have severe or lingering side effects for three days or more.
"We know...booster shot, upwards of 50% would have a fever, typically for one max of two days after 48 hours," he said. "Typically people have no side effects after that."
The doctor said the side effects should not be a deterrent to receiving the COVID vaccine, and they "pale in comparison" to the risks of the coronavirus.
Kaneland's superintendent said he hopes the staff members will feel better and that school will be able to resume Friday. As a result of the "emergency day," a make-up day will added to the end of the school year.