Vaccinations Offer a Glimmer of Hope

With the return to in-person instruction on the horizon for Oregon schools, many districts are weighing the risks of returning to school before teachers are vaccinated. Some districts are postponing a return to in-person instruction until teachers wanting a vaccine have time to complete both doses and the recommended 14-day period after the 2nd dose for the vaccine to be considered effective.

According to Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the organization overseeing Oregon COVID-19 vaccinations Coos County has fully vaccinated 1,377 residents. Another 3,311 Coos County residents have received the first dose of the vaccine and are awaiting their second dose. A large portion of the 3,311 total includes teachers and those that work in education. That means that within a few weeks, 4,688 of Coos County’s 63,288 residents, or 7.4%, will have been vaccinated. Seniors 80 and older will begin receiving vaccinations on Feb. 8.

Marshfield High School Educational Assistant Brandon Rodriguez said that he noticed approximately one out of three teachers with a sore arm after their first dose. MHS teacher Sara Vaughn and Educational Assistant Amber Willis said the vaccination did not bother them.

Teachers are excited for students to return to buildings, but school will not be completely back to ‘normal.’ Masks, social distancing, handwashing and other guidelines will still need to be followed, as most students are not eligible for the vaccine yet. Even after Oregon’s senior population is vaccinated, it will be months before the vaccinations are approved for students, and even then the vaccine has not been approved for those under the age of 16.