Educators receive shots as Indiana welcomes them to its coronavirus vaccine sites

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana school employees have had the option to get their coronavirus vaccine through the Federal Pharmacy Program for the past couple weeks, but now any clinic in the state is fair game.

Several educators received shots at the IU Health Neuroscience Center downtown on Monday.

Jennifer Horton and Ramon Stallings were just two of thousands of school employees across the state who were vaccinated. Horton, an instructional assistant in Warren Township Schools, said she’s been back in the building with students for a while, but the atmosphere is uneasy. She hopes with more employees vaccinated, some of that fear will go away.

“There’s a stress level of watching for masks, making sure you’re constantly social distancing, keeping timers on how long they’re playing and rotating,” Horton said.

Stallings is the head football coach at Crispus Attucks High School, as well as a behavioral specialist. He said like many other people, doing his job effectively has been difficult.

“You’re conditioned to do things a certain way, to teach a certain way, to interact with students and individuals a certain way, and now you have to adjust and not only do you have to adjust, everyone has to adjust and that’s been pretty hard,” Stallings said.

Kristen Kelley, IU Health director of infection prevention, is a mom of three. She said she understands the hardships school staff are facing. Overall, Kelley said, they’ve done a good job keeping the virus from spreading in schools.

“We know that that’s not been a heavy source of infection but, nevertheless, this is a great insurance policy to make sure that they don’t get infected if they were to be exposed,” Kelley said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said anyone working in a school is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine including bus drivers and substitute teachers.