100 educators vaccinated at Baton Rouge General Wednesday
BATON ROUGE - Cheers and applause, that could be mistaken for a pep rally, carried from a Baton Rouge General waiting room Wednesday, as dozens of teachers and faculty members received their first COVID-19 vaccine.
"I feel 110 percent awesome," Nessie Richards of St. James Episcopal Day School said. "What a relief off my shoulders. What a relief for our students and all the rest of the faculty."
A total of 100 teachers from St. James and St. Luke's Episcopal School took advantage of their newfound eligibility Wednesday, after months of pleading for priority.
"From the moment we heard that the teachers were in a tier, we started calling around trying to make arrangements to get our teachers vaccinated," Connie Bradford, head of school at St. Luke's, said.
80 percent of St. Luke's staff, from teachers to daycare workers to coaches, got vaccinated Wednesday.
"It's one little step towards normal," Bradford said. "One little step towards freedom, and one little step towards being back to normal in the classroom."
St. James was well represented, too. Nessie Richards is thrilled to have started her vaccination process, after what she says has been quite the effort to find an appointment.
"You know, at my age, I went online over and over, and we have been waiting," Richards said. "I have submitted everywhere, and then when you go there are no spots."
Baton Rouge General expects to vaccinate a total of 250 educators this week. Wednesday afternoon's event was the first of many they hope to host, and no doubt the loudest crowd of patients they've seen since vaccinations began.
"Seems to be even more exciting than day one here when we were vaccinating our own team members," Raneesha Ford, Director of Pharmacy Services at Baton Rouge General, said. "Definitely coming off the elevator was a breath of fresh air."
These teachers will be back in late March for their second dose. After waiting for 10 minutes post-vaccination, no one showed any side effects, but instead feeling secure and leaving with a little peace of mind.
"I'm safe," Richards said. "I'm safe for the students. I'm safe for myself. It feels, it feels good that we're doing this for America."
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