OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) – Educators eager to get back into the classroom got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday in Granville and Vance counties.
Roughly half of the 1,200 doses of Moderna vaccine administered by the Granville Vance Health Department went into arms of school and day care staff, and half went to adults over 65 and health care workers.
“It was easy, the health department worked with our school to help get our teachers signed up for today,” said Ashley Keith, principal at Falls Lake Academy.
Keith and 75 of her staff at the K-12 charter school all received thier first shot at the clinic Wednesday.
While elementary school kids have been in the building since October, Keith says middle and high schoolers are spilt into tracks only going in two days a week.
“This is a step closer to getting all of our kids back in the building,” she said.
CG Hawley Middle School math teacher Conley Glenn says he was surprised how quickly he was able to get an appointment for the vaccine.
“Once they said teachers could get it, I got an email from Granville County Schools last week,” said Glenn.
Glenn will begin in-person instruction next week and says the past year of online and hybrid instruction has been strange.
“Some are struggling learning math. Some just need that human connection. It’s hard to teach math especially learning remotely. I’m really looking forward to getting closer to them,” Glenn said.
Lisa Macon Harrison, the health director for Granville and Vance counties, says extra doses this week allowed them to put on the mass clinic at a former auction house.
The property owners donated time in the building to the health department, which allowed the health department to scale up vaccinations.
“This is one of the first weeks we were able to plan two mass vaccinations in a row because we’ve had enough vaccine. Previously, we started December 22 with only 100 doses of vaccine in Granville county and 300 doses in Vance,” said Harrison.
This week the health department had 1,400 doses between the two counties.
Harrison says the health department worked with administrations at the area’s public, private and charter schools to get staff registered and signed up ahead of time for the “closed pod” clinic.
“That system has worked well for us because then when people come onsite to the clinic they are already preregistered, they have a specific time. It just helps things run more efficiently,” she said.
There will be additional mass clinics, as well as the regular smaller clinics as the health department continues to complete Groups 1 and 2 and move through Group 3, Harrison says.