Utah teacher says being vaccinated would serve as an additional layer of protection


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – COVID-19 vaccines have been delayed for Utah teachers. An educator shares her hope for a vaccine.  

Granite School District history teacher Deborah Gatrell is one of many looking forward to the day she can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

She said teachers and students are wearing masks in the classroom but being vaccinated serves as an additional layer of protection.

“I teach out on the west side, so I live and work in a hot spot,” Gatrell said. “We’re really at high-risk under the teaching conditions that we’re working in.”

The district’s K-12 staff were slated to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 15th. But a district official said the date has been pushed back because of delivery issues with the state.

“It’s just one more nail in the coffin. Seriously? You’re going to promise us this thing and then yank it back. It’s really frustrating for a lot of teachers,” Gatrell said.

Despite the delay, Gatrell is hopeful.

“I’ll be jumping up and down when I get the vaccine – especially the second dose,” she said.

Healthcare workers are in the first phase of the state’s vaccination rollout.

“If anybody understands medicine and vaccinations, they do,” Gatrell said. “So, I’m absolutely following their lead and I am excited to get it as soon as I can.”

The district said it’s anticipated elderly and high-risk employees might be able to get vaccinated later this month.

“The sooner we can reduce or mitigate that risk, the better – especially now that there’s this new variant that’s a lot more infectious,” Gatrell said.

For her, getting the vaccine is a part of helping the world return to a new normal.

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