Florence teachers and other staff members get coronavirus vaccine

The drive-thru clinic has been operating all week.

Posted: Feb 26, 2021 1:01 PM
Updated: Feb 26, 2021 5:43 PM

On Friday, Florence's students and teachers are doing an e-learning day so staff members can get their first round of vaccines.

Teachers and staff members lined up at the North Alabama Medical Center's coronavirus vaccination clinic held on their East campus. For many teachers, they said getting their first round brings some relief to the worry with the pandemic.

"I feel like with getting the vaccine, we can help our community out," said Florence High School Success Coach, Tara Bruce.

Bruce actually had coronavirus a few months ago.

"I had some very rough symptoms. My husband had it as well and his symptoms were a little milder than mine. Just experiencing COVID, there were a couple of days that I just didn't know I'd ever be the same again," said Bruce.

Bruce is finally getting the vaccine on Friday at the North Alabama Medical Center's drive-thru clinic, and for her, this means seeing her family more.

"My mother has cancer, so I feel like I will be more prepared to go visit her. I haven't seen her since I had it and I'm ready to see her and give her hugs," said Bruce.

Just down the hall, at Heather James' classroom, she's gearing up for the shot, too. She described the feeling as excitement.

"I feel like I can relax a little bit and not worry about what I'm exposed to on a daily basis and make sure I can be available to my students and my family," said James.

The drive-thru clinic isn't open to the public. It's only for educators in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, plus frontline city workers.

Florence High School Principal Roderick Sheppard said this vaccination clinic took away some of their worries about where they'd get vaccinated.

"There was anxiety of wondering how are we going to go about getting it? Do we have to go to Walmart, CVS? Is someone going to call us? This is a great partnership within our community of an opportunity to be able to vaccinate us as the educators so we can do our jobs and serve the kids in the city of Florence," said Sheppard.

The hospital was given more than 4,800 vaccinations. They were able to give out all of those first-round doses this week to specific groups on designated days.

The Alabama Department of Public Health gave the North Alabama Medical Center the vaccinations with strict stipulations. That's why they are only for educators and frontline city or government workers.

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