Courtesy of Christine Mons
Sitting in a doctor’s office with her sleeve rolled up, Christine Mons, a City High math teacher, was able to get the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am so grateful to the central office staff and the UIHC for arranging to vaccinate teachers,” Mons said.
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics partnered with the district to help administer the vaccine. There will be roughly 350 district employees vaccinated this week.
As of February 1st, phase 1B of Iowa’s vaccine distribution plan began. Phase 1A had been in effect, which meant health care providers and long term care residents were eligible to get the vaccine.
Now that phase 1B has begun, “PK-12 staff, early childhood education, childcare workers” are able to get the vaccine. There are tiers within phase 1B and teachers are in tier one. Thursday, February 4 was the first day at City High that contract employees age 50 or older that are currently on-site more than 50% of the time could get the first dose of the vaccine.
“I was thrilled to be vaccinated today. It’s truly the biggest and necessary step to return to normal,” Judith Dickson, a City High social studies teacher, said. “Since were are returning to 100% in-person learning very soon, I really felt it was important for teachers.”
The district is not requiring any of its employees to get the vaccine, calling it a “very personal decision.” The names of who does or doesn’t get the vaccine will not be published.
As stated in the official email sent to teachers, “the District does not know which specific COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) employees will receive.” The teachers will receive the vaccine free of charge.
Mons is glad that she got the vaccine because she explained that it doesn’t just effect her, but her family as well.
“I have elderly parents and was worried about contact with them,” Mons said. “The vaccination not only protects me; it helps protect them. I was both happy and relieved to receive this vaccine.”