MO Teachers Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
March 24, 2021
Media by Jordan Shelton
Missouri plans to enter into Phase 1b Tier three of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process on March 15. This phase will vaccinate essential workers, which includes K-12 teachers.
“The sooner that we get teachers vaccinated, the safer our students are going to feel coming back.” Jordan Shelton, language arts teacher, said.
Shelton received her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine March 3 after traveling to Sikeston, Mo.
“I already feel more comfortable and less anxious in my classroom, which means that I can be a better and more present teacher for my students.” Shelton said.
Shelton has made an effort to share information about COVID-19 vaccinations and education on social media after fact-checking posts. She said it is a good way to alert people outside of education about the issue.
After hearing this news of the transition, Shelton felt encouraged.
Emily Stockwell, language arts teacher, traveled to Canton, Mo., with her husband to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in February.
Stockwell said the vaccine distribution process in Missouri has been poorly managed, which can be seen in the lack of access to those who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Stockwell wants the vaccine to ultimately protect the people she loves, which includes co-workers and students.
“In the moment of getting the shot, when you feel it in your arm, it was already this immense sense of relief,” Stockwell said. “It was a really powerful moment and I was caught off guard by how much it affected me.”
Shawn McAteer, interventions coordinator, traveled to Quincy, Ill., to receive her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
McAteer was skeptical when the vaccine was being developed. She talked to her doctors and people who were more knowledgeable about vaccines and decided it was something she was willing to take.
McAteer said the vaccine distribution process in Missouri hasn’t gone well, but no matter which group was able to get it first, people were going to be unhappy.
Governor Mike Parson held a press conference Thursday, Feb. 25, at the State Capitol announcing the transition to Phase 1b Tier three. McAteer said RSD sent an email to staff with information on where to register for the vaccine.
Junior Jaimee Bunderson’s father is a business professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis. Bunderson’s father has been teaching virtually since last March. She has concerns about teachers teaching in-person.
She wants her father to get the COVID-19 vaccine and he does as well because her family trusts science.
“I just hope teachers will choose to get vaccinated for the sake of the students, and the same for the students for the sake of the teachers,” Bunderson said.