Teachers in the Treasure Valley did not waste any time getting signed up for their COVID-19 vaccines after the state cleared teachers and school staff serving students grades pre-k through 12th to receive the vaccine last week.
According to the school directors, the staff at Wesleyan Preschool and Kindergarten and Kids Are Special People in Boise; all staff signed up for vaccines as soon as the news broke.
"I'm ecstatic, still. I think that we have hope," said Margaret Elkins, program director for Wesleyan Preschool and Kindergarten in Boise.
A handful of staff has already had the first dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
"I was very excited. We had heard different bits, and pieces that the rollout was coming soon to the teacher group," Program Director for Kids Are Special People Heather Sarria said.
Sarria says her 18 staff members were on pins and needles waiting for the announcement allowing educators and others to receive the vaccine.
When the news broke, the first initial reaction among the teachers was excitement, followed by relief.
"Let's get those first doses in as soon as we can. So, we are very excited and very optimistic for the future," Sarria said.
Elkins says the school is operating only three classes with students and staff masked up.
"My biggest fear is that I'll give it to someone. Not that I will get it, but that I could accidentally give it to someone, and so I'm just excited. The more people who get vaccinated, the more we all do our part, and the closer we'll get back to return to some normal," Elkins said. "With all of us getting vaccinated, we can have more children return to our program and do what we love to do."
Elkins emphasized that this is a hard time for everyone, especially parents with young children, unsure how the virus could affect them.
"The more we can assure parents and say to parents that we're all vaccinated, they can share with friends and families and then more and more people that will get vaccinated. So I'm just really excited and hopeful right now," Elkins said.