By Sienna Lapointe
Graphic by Makenna Lee Carey
Currently in Contra Costa County, only some people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Contra Costa County Health Department we are currently in our second distribution phase, Phase 1B. Starting in January, this phase allowed for distribution to ages 64 and older. Later in this phase, Frontline essential workers and people that gather in settings with a risk of COVID, such as assisted living providers.
Healthcare workers are able to get vaccinated now. The term “healthcare worker” is not limited to doctors and nurses however, and some examples include: dentists, drivers going to and from healthcare facilities, workers that manage health plans, and technicians and warehouse operators working at manufacturing life science companies. These are only a few professions found on a long list of professionals found on the website, Covid19.ca.gov/essentialworkers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these essential workers have first priority over teachers. Two teachers from Burton Valley Elementary in Lafayette expressed their opinions on the timeline for teachers becoming vaccinated. Judy Zenoni, a fifth grade teacher and Sara Cherbak, a kindergarten teacher, both plan on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine once allowed. “Absolutely I will get the vaccine. I will do anything I can to help get everything back to normal.” said Zenoni.
Zenoni and Cherbak are feeling impatient. “I have had to teach myself to think about it in the way that every person who gets the vaccine is helping all of us to stay healthy so I don’t start feeling resentful that I have not been able to get it yet!” said Cherbak. “It has been difficult to see how slowly this is going. I am becoming very impatient!” said Zenoni.
As teachers, they miss their students and want to get back to school. However, they have some concerns about going back to school if they aren’t vaccinated. “I can’t wait to see/meet in person my students (5th graders), but I am being asked to increase the people I interact with without the vaccine because my name hasn’t come up yet on a list, [which] makes me nervous and a little upset.” said Zenoni. “I would feel much more comfortable going back if I already had the vaccination,” said Cherback. COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives and these teachers hope to be vaccinated so they can return to some form of normalcy. start to get back to normal.