Photo courtesy V. Sinha
As the COVID-19 vaccine has finished being developed and distribution to states has begun, South Carolina citizens are quickly getting in line to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna in stages.
Stage 1a was announced by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and originally vaccinated only citizens over the age of 70. According to scdhec.gov, on Feb. 8, as South Carolina received more vaccines, they were extended to those 65 and over as well as mission-critical workers. Phase 1b began Mar. 8 and included vaccines for teachers as well as those aged 55 and up, with high-risk medical conditions, in a high-risk setting, and front-line workers. Teachers had been long awaiting their vaccine as it would allow them more freedom both inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers
reported an efficient and well-organized experience when getting vaccinated and many have gotten a vaccine within weeks of its availability.
A survey about the vaccine experience was given to the Viking staff and the following teachers responded.
“Quick, easy, site of injection a little tender for a few days. Well worth the protection for myself and others. Ahh!! to be free to hug again.” -Donna Childers (science teacher)
“I had my first shot over at USC Upstate in the National Guard building. It was quick, easy and efficient.” – Matt Love (guidance counselor)
“Getting vaccinated is important for our school community, but my biggest
motivation to get the vaccine is so that I can see my grandfather again. We usually drive down to Gainesville (GA) once a month to have lunch with him. We haven’t been able to do that since the pandemic started, and my daughters miss their Great Pop!” -Jessica Stevens (English teacher)
“I was super-excited to get my vaccination, but also very nervous. I wasn’t scared of the vaccine shot itself, but at the moment she was going to put the shot in, I tensed up. It was like all of the emotions and fears of the previous year just welled up. I don’t know how else to explain it, but as just a well-up of emotions. She paused until I relaxed, and then gave the shot. I barely felt it. But I was all shaky with what I guess was a release of feelings. I’m definitely glad I got the vaccine, and I’m ready to get the second one in late March.” -Kristin Owens (social studies teacher)
“Easy. I have had both. No adverse reactions, and I am SOOOO glad I got them both.” -Ed Gosnell (health teacher)
“I believe that vaccine will save me and my family. I got mine. Did you get yours?” -Dr. Vijju Sinha (math teacher)
“I went a week ago and got my 1st vaccine, and it was no big deal. Didn’t even have a sore arm!” -Donna Howell (science teacher)
“I had my first Pfizer (mRNA) vaccine shot one week ago, and I had no side effects or issues other than a slightly sore injection site. I am excited to try this new technology since I teach my Biology students about mRNA and how it works in
our cells to help us build proteins so we can have tissues and organs. This makes Biology real and relevant!” -Jeremy Pruett (science teacher)
“The ‘joy of getting my vax.’ I never thought I would feel so delighted about getting a vaccine! This was my shot of happiness!” –Neyda Mora (Spanish teacher)
“I am so excited to get the vaccine because I know I will be doing everything I possibly can to help keep my parents and other loved ones safe. My first shot is this Thursday!” -Johnna Edwards (math teacher)
“Being as old as I am, I have been able to get both shots. Seeing the needles on TV made me worry, but it was a non-event. It actually didn’t hurt at all, either time. It was less uncomfortable than a regular flu shot.” -Robert Frost (math teacher)