KANSAS CITY, MO – Kansas City public schools began vaccinating teachers and staff with the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, thanks to help from local hospitals.
Truman Medical Center / University Health and Children’s Hospital will be vaccinating local educators in multiple districts with the Pfizer vaccine over the next six weeks.
“We have all tried our best to give our all,” said Desirea Faust, a language and language associate at KCPS, of her students’ return to face-to-face learning. “I am delighted to have you again in person.”
She was one of the first teachers to receive the vaccine on Monday.
Some students in the KCPS school district have returned to face-to-face learning since Monday. Meanwhile, their teachers are being vaccinated.
“It took a long time. I am pleased that this is one step closer to making it easier for families to send their children to school with children who feel safe,” said Faust.
A teacher told 41 Action News the reason he received the vaccine was simple.
“It is important that we make sure our students and teachers are comfortable when they return as we need to be back in school and helping our community,” said Reggie Berry, KCPS restorative justice coordinator.
The clinic is expected to vaccinate more teachers and staff in the coming weeks.
“Today (Monday) we want to vaccinate a little more than 500. At the end of the three weeks we want to vaccinate a little more than 10,000 teachers in all of the districts in which we will be serving,” said Dr. Mark Steele, Executive Chief Clinical Officer of Truman Medical Center / University Health, said.
The clinics will also vaccinate school districts in Independence, Raytown, Hickman Mills, Fort Osage, and Center.
“Words cannot express my excitement right now,” said KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell. “When I look at all of the facilities and staff that are here today (Monday) to take their shots, it gives me a level of comfort that we can get that herd immunity at 70-75 percent. We believe in being windows we’ll be able to achieve that as a district. “
When teachers after teachers sat down for their big moment on Monday, all they could think of was their students.
“It’s been a full year since we saw her in person. So yeah, I’m excited,” said Faust.
The educators have also signed up for their second dose, due to be given in 21 days.