As the COVID vaccine begins to roll out, essential workers, such as teachers and healthcare workers, are being prioritized.
Brandon Barger, a teacher at Rose Hill High School, said getting the vaccine to teachers sooner could help with maintaining the presence of teachers at the school.
“I think that the vaccines will help the teachers be able to stay in school which will help with the lack of substitutes that we have in the district,” said Barger. “Just this last week we had a lot of teachers out with either being quarantined or in isolation.”
Superintendent of USD 394, Randal Chickadonz, also feels it is important to keep students and staff in school.
“I think we’ve tried to do a really good job of maintaining school, maintaining learning and teaching within those protocols,” said Chickadonz, in an interview with Channel Seven News. “Our hope is that what that means to us is that the teachers are in the classroom more and not having to be removed because of protocols. It also probably means that some of the teaching and learning is a little more fluid because we don’t have all of those safety restrictions in place, so that’s what I would hope.”
Chickadonz said he would like to start removing the restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so.
“The goal would be to start to remove some of those restrictions,” said Chickadonz. “Being able to contract trace the virus certainly has to help with that I think. I would hope we would see a reduction in that [restrictions] at some point.”
A common question was whether the vaccine will be required by school districts or even the state. Chickadonz said it will be more of an individual decision rather than a requirement.
“I think as far as a virus, I see it not much different than the other viruses that are out in the world right now,” said Chickadonz. “We don’t really require that immunization from viruses, so I don’t see that as being a requirement taking place. I think it’s just a safety precaution you take as an individual and I believe that it will probably be an individual choice for most people.”
Barger also said it should be a personal choice whether to get the vaccine or not.
“I don’t think the states will be able to require them,” said Barger. “It should still be an individual and family decision.”
Barger also said he would be willing to get the vaccine.
“I have a few family members that are in the health profession that have had it,” Barger said. “This makes me believe that it is a safe vaccine.”