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Teachers and school staff in Grant County get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

50 Moderna vaccines were administered at Petersburg High School Friday to Grant County Schools staff.
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 7:58 PM EST
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GRANT COUNTY, W.Va. (WHSV) - Excitement was in the air as some teachers and school staff in Grant County were able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

50 Moderna vaccines were given out at Petersburg High School on Friday morning.

Vaccines are not mandatory for staff, but those in line were eager to get their shot.

“Everybody that has signed up literally comments have been made that ‘we’ll be running in to get the vaccines,’” Brent Nelson, Director of Facilities for Grant County schools, said.

School leaders said the vaccine is hopefully a first step in establishing some “normalcy” for the schools.

“I think staff would feel much better knowing they have the option to take the vaccination, and it’s really just feeling secure and safe in getting back in the building and getting really, again, back to normal,” Dwayne Hedrick, assistant principal at Petersburg Elementary School, said.

Vaccines were administered by E.A. Hawse Center employees who vaccinated 60 staff members from Hardy County schools on Thursday.

”It’s amazing. This is the best community service that we can give is trying to help get our children back in school, trying to help combat this pandemic and trying to do what’s good for the community. It’s great,” Myra Kessel, Director of Clinical Services at E.A. Hawse Health Center, said.

For two of the nurses present at Petersburg High School, distributing the vaccine came full circle in their alma mater.

“It’s pretty crazy. It’s a bit of a rush because we graduated in 2010, so here we are coming back to vaccinate the staff, you know, the teachers that we had. So, it’s pretty neat,” Karey Ours and Samantha Goldizen, Hawse Center nurses and Petersburg High School graduates, said.

Superintendent of Grant County Schools, Doug Lambert, said this a great step in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic but not the only one.

“As we all well know, it’s not a silver bullet. It’s gonna take a while for this to deal. We’ll probably still have to use the mitigation, the handwashing, the social distancing, the masks, and so forth. But nonetheless, this is a big first step for all of us,” Lambert said.

The vaccines given were mostly for staff ages 50 and older, but Kessel said the hope is to get staff under 50 started in a week or so.

Those vaccinated at Petersburg High School on Friday will be given their next dose in about a month.

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