Teachers Receive First Rounds of COVID-19 Vaccine 

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Lauren Weber, Author

The long-awaited vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic has arrived for teachers in Berkeley County this past Thursday, January 8th. Thvaccine was offered on a non-mandatory basis for teachers who are 50 years and older in Berkeley County, making for one-third of teachers in Berkeley County. The next round will be for teachers who are in the 40-49 years of age bracket, and then it will be available to younger teachers. 

Around 468 Berkeley County Schools teachers received the first does of the vaccine during the first week of vaccines for administration. Later the second dose of the vaccine, a booster, will be administered. With new COVID-19 cases on the rise in Berkeley County, from 16.53% to 18.19%, no wonder why school employees have made the choice to get vaccinated. Tonya Flemming, the librarian at Spring Mills High School, was one of those people to make the choice to take the COVID-19 vaccine.  

Mrs. Flemming receiving the vaccine

“The only way I see to move away from this virus is to get vaccinated so that I can once again go back to my way of life. I am really missing life pre-COVID!” Flemming said.

The vaccine along with other COVID preventatives remains a controversy topic. Many other teachers feel uncertain with taking the vaccine so soon, but Flemming did not.  

“After watching the news and reading many articles pertaining to the vaccine, no, I did not hesitate to receive the vaccine,” said Fleming. “As with anything that is new, there is always a risk involved, but I would have rather take a risk with the vaccine verses taking a risk contracting this virus. 

Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia wants kids from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade to return to school by January 19th,but there is skepticism among teachers. Berkeley County will still be in red, and not all teachers will be vaccinated. Despite this, availability to COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers is definitely a positive step in the right direction for reopening schools and, like Flemming said, returning to that “pre-COVID life.” 

Ms. Stegal, a staff member at Spring Mills, getting vaccinated