ERHS Teacher Vaccinations Run Smoothly

KN-95+Mask+in+front+of+Eleanor+Roosevelt+High+School%27s+front+building

KN-95 Mask in front of Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s front building

Ethan Kelly, News Editor

Per CEO Dr. Monica Goldson’s announcement, students are set to return to Eleanor Roosevelt for the first time in over a year starting with seniors on April 8th. This announcement has sparked discussions about the safeness or lack thereof for students to adopt a hybrid model; such a model would allow students to return to school twice a week and remain virtual for the other three days. 

Part of Dr. Goldson’s motivation for a return to school is the vaccination process underway for teachers in Prince George’s County. According to the Maryland Department of Health, educators are considered part of Phase 1C—the phase currently receiving vaccines. Many teachers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with others receiving both already.

The vaccine comes in two doses, depending on the provider (Pfizer or Moderna). Both are offered to anyone above the age of 18, which covers every single teacher in Prince George’s County. Teachers have the ability to sign up using an online link, which will schedule an appointment for a certain date and time. 

Mrs. Allison McMahon, a chemistry teacher at ERHS, has been able to receive both doses of the vaccine. Her first dose was on a Wednesday, and though “the “teacher-specific” days have been set up for the weekends,” she “saw teachers on [her] Wednesday appointment day as well.” So far, it seems that teachers have the ability to sign up on weekdays, but the weekends are reserved for educators. 

A big question for Prince George’s County teachers is whether or not they feel safe returning to the building. Ms. Ola Gerald, a history teacher whose classroom is one of the temporary buildings, says her “only concern is what that’s going to look like considering [the] limited space.” Gerald, like McMahon, received her vaccine and describes “the process itself was running well.” 

However, some teachers have only recently received their first dosage, while others were able to receive it somewhat earlier. Ms. Jennifer Hill, a math teacher who received her vaccine in mid-February, says the sign-up links “have been filling up fast.” She mentioned that another hurdle was the fact that “people from other counties were going to Prince George’s to get vaccinated” until the County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks, enforced measures to prevent this from happening.

When asked about side effects from the vaccine Gerald says that though she was nervous, there ended up being “no side effects besides arm soreness like any other vaccine.” As for the safeness of the vaccine, McMahon says she “felt very safe receiving the vaccine,” as she had “done personal research, read input from scientists regarding the vaccine, and talked to [her] doctor.” She recommends everyone to research the vaccine and “make the decision that is best for their health, wellbeing, family, and lifestyle.”