About 1,250 Wake County teachers, workers receive COVID-19 vaccine at school clinics

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — About 1,250 Wake County public school teachers and employees received the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday.

Wake County Public School System partnered with Wake County Public Health and WakeMed to organize mass vaccine clinics at Knightdale and Southeast Raleigh high schools.

Samantha Williams is a music teacher at Barbell Road Elementary School. For Williams, getting the vaccine means more peace of mind, and ultimately, more upbeat lessons for her students.

“I can go back into my classroom and teach with a little bit more confidence,” she said. “When you have fear, it makes you apprehensive about what you do. So now I can be more confident in my actual practice of teaching.”

And the vaccine also means confidence for Rene Hager and LeAnne Traub, friends who work at Walnut Creek Elementary.

“I feel more safe now returning to work now so it’s a good thing,” said Hager, who is the cafeteria manager.

For Traub, the vaccine brings hope.

“I just hope that we can get back to some semblance of normalcy,” she said. “Not every child gets the love and affection that they need and sometimes at school, that’s the only place they can get it. And if I can help just one child. But we still have to keep our distance, but this helps you feel a little more secure.”

Anita Otey also rolled up her sleeve to get the shot on Saturday. Otey told CBS 17 she plans to continue teaching 8th-grade math virtually for the remainder of the semester, but will return to in-person learning in the fall.

“I knew that I could still make a difference while teaching virtually,” said Otey. “We’re all adjusting. So it’ll be great to get back into the building and to be able to teach the way we’re used to teaching.”

A spokesperson for the school district said so far, appointments for every clinic have been full. A tally of how many teachers and school employees have been vaccinated may be released sometime next week.

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