This March, approaching their Year Anniversary with Coronavirus, many teachers have recently received their first vaccine dose. Regardless of which vaccine they received, Moderna or Pfizer, Green Hope staff are beginning to feel optimistic as they anticipate a sense of normalcy returning in the coming months.
Of teachers surveyed, 73% received the Moderna vaccine, while only 27% received Pfizer. There seems to be a minimal pattern in symptoms depending on which vaccine was obtained and teachers had a wide range in responses. Multiple teachers recorded that they felt hardly any side effects, while others depicted a sore arm for 1-4 days. One teacher includes they “had a sore arm for two days. I was very tired the morning following my vaccine but as the day went by, I quickly picked up energy.” Another depicted having minimal immediate side effects, but the day after feeling “like a slump, very tired, no motivation to do anything.” While physical side effects ranged from none to fatigue, emotional side effects were unanimous “relief.” One teacher joked they felt like a “superhuman” afterward, while another seriously noted “I was very happy to have gotten it, however, I had multiple side effects that took me out of school for a day. Worth it to know I am protected when students come into the building though!” The detail that staff may feel unsafe without the vaccine is significant and makes easy accessibility of the vaccine even more important. When interviewed about the accessibility of the vaccine, the majority of teachers felt it was easy to access and relatively uncomplicated to find an appointment.
With teachers being among the priority of Frontline essential workers, we are now beginning to move on to the rest of Group 3. Among those eligible currently are childcare workers, restaurant workers, critical manufacturers, and grocers. Many students fall into these categories and have already begun the process of being vaccinated. While many see this as one step closer to normalcy, it is still critical to wear a mask and be cautious.