Moffat County School District personnel receive first dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine |

Moffat County School District personnel receive first dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Moffat County Public Health held a vaccination clinic Friday at the administration building

Hoping to get back to full-time, in-person learning later in the school year, Moffat County School District employees took an important step in recent weeks, receiving their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination from Moffat County Public Health nurses Olivia Scheele and Becky Copeland.

To date, Moffat County Public Health and Memorial Regional Health has administered 128 first-dose vaccinations in total to school district employees, meaning roughly 38% of district employees have received the vaccination.

Hoping to create more time and an easier process for district employees to receive the vaccination, Public Health organized a clinic Friday, Feb. 12 at the district administration building at 600 Texas Ave.

After vaccinating roughly 99 employees in recent weeks through various clinics, Public Health saw just 12 employees show up Friday for the final out-of-office clinic.

“Ideally, we’d like to get to 70 to 80% of the district vaccinated,” Scheele said. “Eighty percent is considered herd immunity, so if we had herd immunity within the school district, that would be best-case scenario.”

Following Friday’s final clinic, Scheele added that first doses will still be available for teachers and district staff members.

“I hope that the teachers who may not have gotten the vaccine yet see that their peers are OK and that makes them open to getting the vaccine,” Scheele added. “If we can get more teachers and district employees vaccinated, that helps keep the schools open and keeps kids in school.”

While the discussion around the COVID-19 vaccinations is a hot topic for residents, one employee stated she was doing all that she could to protect the kids in the district, regardless of the unknowns with the vaccine.

“I represent the school district, and I don’t want any parents or anybody associated with the school adult-wise to think that this person’s going to put my kid in danger,” Soni Vice, a food services worker, stated after receiving her first dose Friday.

Vice said concerns about the vaccination and the quick development of the Moderna version really didn’t play a factor in her decision to get the vaccine. Nerves weren’t really a factor either for Vice.

“The only nerves I had were that I was sent to the wrong place and was afraid I was going to miss my appointment,” she said.

Prior to Vice receiving her vaccination, Angela Hendershott – a para-educator at Ridgeview Elementary — sat in the cafeteria at the administration building to pass her 15 minutes after the shot, making sure she didn’t have any negative reaction to the vaccination.

Knowing she wanted to do everything she could to protect herself and others drove Hendershott to change her stance on the vaccine.

“I really just want to protect myself and others,” Hendershott said. “I was kind of in the group that waited a bit to give other people a chance to get the shot and see how they felt afterward.”

With the first dose down, Hendershott said she feels a sense of relief.

“It’s one of those things that hangs over your head, so when it was over it was a big relief,” Hendershott said. “I don’t do well with needles, so that was the big thing leading up to today; the buildup to the shot is usually worse than the shot itself for me.”

Hendershott did add that she has some reservations about vaccination, but she said overall she’s happy she was able to receive the first dose and hopefully help the district return to full-time, in-person learning in the future.

Though she understands the concerns from other community members, Vice encouraged her fellow district employees to get the vaccine.

“I would say do it,” Vice said. “Yes, it’s not proven, but people have not dropped dead from this vaccine, you know? Give it a shot and see what happens. For the betterment of our small community, we’ve already got our numbers down, so let’s just roll with that, see if this vaccine helps with that and get our numbers back to normal and have a real school year getting kids back to the comfort zone that they’re used to.”

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