TIPTON CO., Tenn. (WMC) - On the last day of 2020, Tipton County teachers received an email stating, “The Tipton County Health Department will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to school personnel.”
“As a teacher, this was exciting news, and it feels like the bit of hope that I’ve been waiting for, especially looking forward to the new year,” Kathryn Vaughn, rural Tennessee teacher said.
Vaughn has been teaching hybrid lessons since school returned in the fall.
“This vaccine is especially important for teachers that have been teaching in-person and hybrid such as myself. I’ve been working in-person doing hybrid instruction since the beginning of August, and this vaccine is hope for us, but we also must remain vigilant and continue to follow the protocols established by the CDC,” Vaughn said.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, Tipton County is vaccinating those who fall under phase 1a1, 1a2, 1b, and 75-year-olds and older.
Vaughn says come Jan. 2, she will call first thing in the morning to set up her appointment.
“The time frame as to when we will be receiving them is still a little up in the air, but at least we are taking steps in the right direction,” Vaughn said.
With Shelby County still under phase 1a1, the health department says it’s hard to predict when they will move onto the next phase, 1a2, which will then be followed by phase 1b for teachers.
However, one thing that is clear is that the vaccine is optional for everyone as of now.
“I’m thankful for our districts to not mandate taking the vaccine for educators and leaving it as a personal decision,” Vaughn said.