SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Teachers and staff in the Salt Lake City School District are beginning to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Thursday afternoon, employees within SLCSD lined up at Highland High School where those 55 years and older were given the opportunity to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Greg Mohammed and Deb Dubek were among the first in the district to be vaccinated.
“I’ve been waiting for a while to get this and it’s finally done. It was painless and fairly easy,” said Mohammed, a teacher at Horizonte Instructional Training Center.
“It’s a huge relief. We’re not through the woods yet, it’s going to be a little while longer. But this is a very big step forward,” said Dubek, a Bonneville Elementary School secretary.
Based on guidance from the state (and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Salt Lake County is vaccinating employees by age, and not by underlying health conditions.
This week the district received 800 doses of the vaccine. They said it will cover nearly 25% of employees.
For Mohammed and Dubek, the vaccine serves as an additional layer of protection.
“It was a scary thing to think that we might be going back and having kids come back in the school and be at risk of exposure,” Dubek said.
“We want to be in class, but we want to be safe. It’s not worth risking our lives,” Mohammed said. “We love our kids, but we don’t want to die for them.”
“I feel for the teachers that have been asked to go back without the vaccine. That’s gotta be stressful going in every day,” Mohammed said.
A district spokesperson told ABC4 News the sooner the district can get their employees vaccinated, the sooner the board may consider in-person learning at all schools, not just elementary.
ABC4 News asked if teachers go back to in-person learning, will they be considered for the bonus checks? The district spokesperson said that’s undecided.