DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. — On Wednesday, the Davie County High School parking lot transformed into a vaccination clinic.
More than 300 teachers and school employees rolled up their sleeves for a coronavirus vaccine, and their age did not matter.
“Teachers are very excited,” said Michelle Shue, an English teacher at Davie County High School who got the first vaccine dose. “I heard a lot of teachers as they were getting their vaccine say they feel so much better now after getting the shot.”
The vaccine clinic was open to all employees who signed-up even if they’re younger than 65-year-old. “
There’s a sense of security now and just that we were able to take a step to protect ourselves,” Shue said.
Davie County Superintendent Jeff Wallace told FOX8 the clinic was made possible because of a partnership with the health department and timing of the operation. Plans were set before state leaders switched vaccine priority groups.
“We’ve been working on this plan for quite some time prior to the changing of the protocols,” Wallace said. “They honored their commitment because once we made that commitment, we wanted to carry it out.”
North Carolina remains in phase two of the vaccine rollout. School staff are slated to be in phase three.
“We know it’s going to be extremely important to get our teachers and staff vaccinated,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a news conference on Wednesday.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen addressed the vaccine distribution.
“We recognize though that there has to be some flexibility at the local level,” she said. “We know folks, for example, had appointments scheduled before we made a shift to the 65 and up population.”
In Guilford County, the slow rollout of vaccines is concerning for some school staff.
“Educators are stepping up to do this work in what can be a frankly dangerous environment,” said Todd Warren, the president of the Guilford County Association of Educators. “If reopening schools is truly a priority then vaccinating educators has to be a priority also.”
Around 10,000 Guilford County Schools employees are among the thousands of other school staff across the state in the next group to be vaccinated.
Guilford County Emergency Management Director Don Campbell said they’re working on plans for when educators can get vaccinated.
“We will do our best to stick with that guidance and move into those phases when we have the vaccine available to move into those areas,” he said. “Our focus right now is solely on our 65-year-old and higher along with those medical professionals.”
The schedule to move into phase three depends on the amount of vaccine allotted to North Carolina.
The Guilford County Schools board of education is meeting on Feb. 9 to get an update on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccination plans.