ATHENS, Tenn (WDEF) – One by one , Athens City teachers lined up for a shot in the arm Friday at the Athens Regional Park.
When they left they had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“We have been waiting hoping our teachers and staff could get vaccinated. They have been on the frontlines all this time,” says Robert Greene, Director of Athens City Schools.
It’s a day many teachers and faculty have been waiting for.
“We were notified last Tuesday that the next phase would open up with our local health department. We were so excited. We have been collecting names of any staff member that’s interested in reviewing a shot since January 1st,” says Julie Lofland, Coordinator of School health for ACS.
Elementary school teacher, Nicole Merriott says she feels like getting vaccinated is the best way for her and her family to remain healthy.
“I have high risk members at my house and there are 7 of us there. Working at the school it’s important to be around the kids but also to be vaccinated as well, in my opinion,” says Merriott.
A total of 120 staff members signed up to receive the vaccine, school officials say that’s only about 50 percent of their staff and they will be encouraging the remaining faculty to follow along.
“We wish we would get more. We are going to send out some letters encouraging more to take the vaccine. When we started the school year and we really didn’t know how it was going to go they were really concerned about coming to work without already being vaccinated but now that the cases have been so small within our schools, they are more receptive,” says Greene.
Teachers tell News 12 they feel like getting vaccinated was the next step in keeping their schools safe and open.
“I think the school system does everything they can to keep us protected this year including fogging our rooms, getting us PPE , and now getting us vaccinated,” says Mitsi Poole, Special Education Teacher at North City Elementary.
For more information about the phases of how to sign up for an appointment click here.