Teachers begin getting vaccinated

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On January 8, educators were invited to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in an email from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). 

According to the email sent out to educators, this opportunity is optional and teachers are not required to get vaccinated if they are not comfortable with doing so. Geometry teacher David Morse said, “I am neither anxious or excited about getting the vaccine. I am going along with science, the consensus being it is a good idea to get it.” English teacher Kevin Schwab said that he was “pleased that the union had worked so quickly to reach out to the teaching community and let us know that there would be a plan to assist all of the educators in New York City.” 

Many teachers have already utilized this opportunity. English teacher Sarah Levine shared her experience getting vaccinated, and said, “I got my first shot last Thursday, January 14. The whole process of getting my vaccine took about an hour. I had made my appointment at a hospital in Flushing, and when I got there, there was a bit of a line before me.” Ms. Levine said her vaccination went well, the only side effect being a bit of soreness.

With the vaccine’s release being recent, there are still millions of people waiting to receive it, raising concerns about who is prioritized. Teachers shared that although they had the chance to sign up for the vaccine, most people receiving it are very cooperative with the order it is distributed in. “The only order to who receives vaccines is the order in which you signed up for an appointment,” said Ms. Levine. “While we were waiting in line, occasionally hospital workers asked if elderly patients could go before, and almost all people in line agreed that they could.” 

Vaccine distribution is well underway with 2,744,450 people already vaccinated. After Phase 1b, which includes vaccine distribution to teachers, first responders, and other essential workers, Phase 1c will begin with vaccines being distributed to people over age 65 and those with underlying health conditions. Although children under 16 cannot yet receive the vaccine, students who are over 16 are in the last phase, Phase 2, and are expected to begin receiving the vaccine this summer.

Image from Pixabay