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Wayne County teachers get COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 2:56 PM EST
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WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -Teachers in Wayne County had the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.

There was a clinic at Spring Valley High School from 8 a.m. until noon.

“I want to do everything I can to protect my family, myself, my students, my community,” said Special Education Teacher Tom Riffle.

The Wayne County School District was given 180 doses of the Moderna vaccine for teachers 50 years and older.

The first dose provided a sigh of relief for those concerned for their health and a shot of encouragement for those headed back to the classroom.

“God forbid that one of us teachers would infect the students,” said Sixth Grade Teacher Cathy Gilliam. “So this vaccination gives us hope that we can move forward and get the kids back and get us back to normal.”

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced last week students are heading back to in-person learning January 19th. It’s a decision many teachers have spoken out against because of high coronavirus case numbers. However, this first shot of the vaccine is easing some of those worries.

“My concerns are the safety of the children and the teachers,” said Gilliam. “Especially us older teachers, our teachers with underlying conditions. Again, this vaccination gives us hope that we can get back to normal in our education system.”

The idea of normalcy may seem a long ways away. However, teachers are hoping this vaccine is one step closer to getting there.

Only eight Wayne County teachers over 50 who wanted the vaccine were not able to get it Thursday.

Superintendent Todd Alexander said they’ll get their shots when the next round of doses come in.

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