MISSOULA — With all the back and forth of in-person and remote instruction, educators are dealing with a rollercoaster of a school year. But things are finally looking up for our local teachers as the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic was held Wednesday specifically for them.
Set up at the Sentinel High School gym, about 220 teachers were given their first dose of the vaccine -- all of which were distributed in addition to Missoula County’s allotment of vaccine.
MTN News caught up with one of the first teachers in line, Brianna Hanson, who teaches physical education at Jeannette Rankin Elementary School. As a P.E. teacher, Hanson faced unique pandemic challenges, ultimately holding her classes outside all year.
Her biggest concern was contracting COVID-19 from a student and putting her family in danger.
She was expecting to wait at least a few more months until she could get vaccinated, so after news spread that teachers could get receive the vaccine through a special initiative by President Biden, Hanson couldn’t get in line fast enough.
"The organization was really impressive. I just felt like in every everybody's attitude, I saw somebody like skipping in like, you know, people are just excited that we're moving in that direction,” Hanson said.
“And I sent texts to everybody in my family to say ‘hey I got the first dose’ and it's just like a general like that sense of, we're going somewhere or making progress with the pandemic,” Hanson added.
The educator vaccine clinics are operated by Granite Pharmacy which has about 2,000 doses from the federal government for the special program. The focus is currently on educators across the county, but eventually, they will be working towards vaccinating childcare providers as well.