Teachers Get COVID-19 Vaccine in Waterbury and Watertown

"It was a sigh of relief, a weight off my shoulders," said Kevin Egan, an elementary school teacher in Waterbury who was just vaccinated.

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Connecticut is prioritizing teachers across the state when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine and some districts are moving forward with vaccinating staff this week.

On Tuesday morning, Watertown Public Schools had a three-hour delay. The district has just under 480 staff members and there was a large enough portion of people getting vaccinated that it required a delay, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alison Villanueva.

In nearby Waterbury, the school district offered a clinic for teachers on Tuesday at noon at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School. The district filled all 500 open slots in a matter of hours.

It will be up to individual school districts to work out how their teachers and staff will get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Kevin Egan is an elementary school teacher and the president of the Waterbury Teachers Association.

“We’re trying to get back to some sense of normalcy and there’s no doubt that the vaccine is a great first step to do that. Teachers want to be back in the classrooms, they want to be with their students, but they want to do it safely,” said Egan.

There’s 1,600 teachers in the Waterbury district and a recent survey revealed 90% of them want to get vaccinated, according to Egan. He was able to get his first dose on Monday at Post College.

“After the year that educators have had, it was a sigh of relief, a weight off my shoulders, knowing that there’s maybe a light at the end of the tunnel here,” said Egan.

As both districts work to vaccinate school staff, the Watertown superintendent said as of now, there are no plans for future delays when it comes to getting those teachers and staff their second dose.

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