‘I feel so lucky’: More than 2,000 Johnston County Public Schools staff receive 1st vaccine dose

Johnston County News

KENLY, N.C. (WNCN) — On the first day that the COVID-19 vaccine was available to all educators in North Carolina, more than 2,000 Johnston County Public Schools employees received their first-round dose at a drive-through clinic.

The drive-through clinic, located at North Johnston High School, was a coordinated effort between JCPS, the Johnston County Public Health Department, Johnston County Emergency Services, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and the National Guard.

The district had approximately 2,109 employees pre-register for the vaccination event, which ran from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that was administered at the event was allotted by the state.

“This is such a great event. It ran so smoothly and efficiently,” said West Clayton Elementary teacher Samantha Lam. “I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as a teacher so that I can be better protected.”

According to JCPS Area Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Pearce, it took a great deal of planning between the multiple agencies to facilitate administering the vaccine on such a large scale.

The district estimates that 300 educators were vaccinated every hour.

“We are so grateful for all of the hard work shown by our county partners,” said Pearce. “Today’s event went better than any of us could have hoped for.”

All JCPS employees were given the opportunity in January to express their interest in receiving the vaccine. Those employees were then contacted earlier this month to pre-register for Wednesday’s event.

The district utilized school nurses to help administer the vaccine to JCPS staff. Dozens of volunteers from throughout the school system also were present to assist.

“We have an exceptional group of school nurses and student services staff who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Executive Director of Social and Emotional Learning Dr. Amanda Allen. “Everyone in Johnston County Public Schools has worked tirelessly to make our schools as safe as possible during these unprecedented times.”

All JCPS staff who received the vaccine at the drive-through clinic are expected to return to North Johnston High for their second dose at a similar event near the end of March.

“We are so thankful that so many of our staff members showed up today to receive their dose of the vaccine,” said Pearce. “You could tell from the smiles behind their masks that everyone was grateful for this opportunity, and everyone who planned the event appreciates their patience and participation today.”

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