Teachers getting vaccines; difficult process worth effort

A+vaccine+and+syringe+are+displayed.+These+pieces+of+immunization+equipment+are+tools+used+to+inoculate+patients+for+various+viruses+including+the+Coronavirus.

Photo by NIH. Used with permission from Google Commons

A vaccine and syringe are displayed. These pieces of immunization equipment are tools used to inoculate patients for various viruses including the Coronavirus.

Teachers and staff have returned to the building in anticipation for the return of students. Teachers have begun preparing before in-person learning begins. Teachers are also preparing their immune system through receiving the vaccines for Covid. 

The process of getting a vaccine is difficult for teachers. Social studies teacher Jenn Bauer was able to get her vaccination early with her second shot on Feb. 24. During a staff meeting, when a mass vaccination site opened up at Six Flags, the meeting stopped in order to let the teachers try to get spots for vaccination locations. “We stopped having the staff meeting for a few minutes so that everyone could try to get on [the list] and that’s when [social studies teacher Kraig] Bauer was able to try Walgreens and that is how he got his shot scheduled for Frostburg,” Bauer said.

There are vaccination sites all over Maryland providing immunizations to teachers. English and Theatre teacher Dr. Julian Lazarus used the variety of possible vaccination locations to maximize his ability to get a vaccine as soon as possible, so he could be safer as he and his wife provide care for his in-laws. “[My wife and I], both being teachers, signed up not only for the county we live in, but both of the counties we work in, as well as multiple other places,” Lazarus said. 

Teachers who haven’t received a vaccine already might not be able to by the time we are supposed to return to school. “I know that a lot of teachers are still having a lot of trouble getting their vaccines or they’re just now getting their vaccines, which means that they’re cutting that time period really close before they report back to the building,” Lazarus said.

According to Bauer, people are having to spend, “hours online just to try to find a site.” For those who manage to find a slot, they might have to travel across the state. “We were able to get our vaccine through Baltimore County, because Baltimore County was open to all educators,” Lazarus said.

Once receiving a vaccine, teachers are feeling glad and protected for when they have to go back in the building.  Even though teachers had symptoms of headaches, itchiness, soreness, and nausea after their vaccines, they can finally feel free from a majority of the worry. Even while continuing to maintain all safety protocols, Bauer still feels a little worried because her daughter isn’t vaccinated yet and therefore not fully protected. Now that she and her husband have the vaccine, “I can take a deep breath,” Bauer said.

Although the vaccination process takes time and effort on mostly the teacher’s side of the equation, the effort seems to be worth it. While Bauer and other teachers see the process as a “burden,” the results make the effort seem successful. “I am elated. I was very excited to get the vaccine,” Lazarus said.

My hope is that everyone will be able to get vaccinated by the time we get back to school students and teachers.”

— Julian Lazarus

There still might be hope that the future will be less complicated when the procedure is more consistent. It seems that currently, “MCPS is working with the government’s County Health Department to try and get teachers vaccinated, and I’ve gotten a few emails to that effect,” Lazarus said. “My hope is that everyone will be able to get vaccinated by the time we get back to school students and teachers. Especially for the fall when we all go back,” Lazarus said.