CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, and Penns Valley Area School Districts worked together to host a clinic where 200 of their Phase 1A employees received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have been, in this county, trying to do as much in person teaching as we can with our students, and our parents are demanding that, and so in that effort, our teachers are more at risk,” said Karen Krisch, pandemic coordinator for the Bellefonte Area School District.
Krisch said they were contacted by local pharmacy, Boalsburg Apothecary, who wanted to partner with local schools and provide doses of Moderna’s vaccine. She said slots were filled within minutes.
“There was overwhelming response and we actually had a waiting list,” said Krisch.
On February 9, 200 employees in Phase 1A received their first dose at the Bellefonte Area High School. On March 18, they’ll return for their second, along with some employees from the initial wait list.
It wasn’t just teachers who could take part. The clinic included custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers.
The Bald Eagle superintendent, Scott Graham, said they’re looking to help the public as well.
“If we can utilize our facilities for our public once we get to that point to get vaccinated, we’re going to do everything possible to make that happen,” said Graham.
In Pennsylvania, most educators are in phase 1B, and when that phase becomes eligible for vaccinations, the districts say they’ll continue to collaborate and host more clinics.
“It’s the best of times and the worst of times, and the best of times brings out the best in people, and this entire experience has brought out some awesome and wonderful things, it’s happened in all of our districts,” said Tammie Burnaford, interim superintendent for the Bellefonte Area School District.
There may be more than the 200 employees vaccinated in the district, who are not reporting it to their schools, and receiving doses from their personal providers.