Education workers in Thompson received the first dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday. Day Kimball Healthcare hosted a clinic in the high school's gymnasium, kicking off teacher vaccinations for the region.
“It means a lot of the stress and anxiety about being exposed to COVID-19 is going to be reduced," said Melinda Smith, superintendent of Thompson Public Schools.
Smith said that students at Thompson Public Schools have been learning in-person, five days a week, for most of the school year.
“It has been an interesting year, but our teachers have pulled together and we have been here," said Smith.
Smith added that teachers have sacrificed a lot to be in the classroom. Several teachers we spoke with agreed.
“I have four comorbidities. And I have told the kids, but again the kids are great, I’ve told them if I catch it there’s every chance to believe I might not survive," said Donna Shaw, a middle school English teacher.
Shaw said that the vaccine provided her with a "big sigh of relief."
Lucy Trudeau, a middle school science teacher, said it has been a stressful year and that the vaccine means a lot.
“Oh my gosh, it means we can come into this situation and somewhat feel safe," said Trudeau.
About 170 people received the first dose of the vaccine at the clinic today. According to Smith, about 250 school personell district-wide were eligible.
Day Kimball Healthcare is teaming up with Northeast District Department of Health to vaccinate all education workers in the region. There are teacher vaccine clinics scheduled for the various school districts through mid-March.
Everyone who was vaccinated at Thompson's clinic today will go back in 28 days for a second dose. Thompson Public Schools will have a remote learning day the day after the second dose clinic.
“We want to make sure that we are giving them time to recuperate after the vaccine," said Smith.