PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade are one of the few groups outlined in phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process. The Mississippi State Department of Health estimates vaccinating educators and school staff could begin around the middle of January.
Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is a monumental moment, and sixth-grade reading teacher Kelly Banks said she has been counting down the days.
“I’m ready to be the first in line actually,” Banks said. “I was like, as soon as they give us the go-ahead, I’m ready to take it.”
Banks teaches at Trent Lott Academy and this school year, Banks has not been able to see all of her students sitting at their desks or walking through the halls, but Banks is hopeful that the COVID-19 vaccine will allow every single student to safely return to school.
“I believe it’s a good thing. It’ll get the kids back. Our goal is to get all the kids back into the classroom,” Banks said. “So me taking the vaccine, it will make my job a lot better, a lot less stressful, to know that I’m protected.”
Phase 1B of the vaccination process includes every staff member working inside of a school. Pascagoula-Gautier School District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said after he heard this announcement, he could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for anyone to be able to protect themselves against the unknown, and that’s what we’re going to be doing, and that’s what I’m going to be doing,” said Rodolfich. “I’m of course going to be taking the vaccine because it increases the probability of not getting COVID.”
The Pascagoula-Gautier School District hopes the COVID-19 vaccine will help relieve anxiety and stress for teachers, but more importantly, create a safer environment for everyone in the schools.