SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Springfield educators rolled up their sleeves Saturday to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
There were 451 doses given out at Saturday’s clinic, all administered by Cascade Health Solutions.
Springfield Public Schools received an allocation of 324 doses this week, with an additional 87 going to smaller districts. District officials told KEZI 9 News extra doses were able to be extracted Saturday, so they were able to vaccinate more people than they intended.
Those who received an invitation walked into the vaccination area, were given their shot and then waited in an observation room for 15 minutes.
Invitations were prioritized based on those with the most in-person contact.
Adrienne Pierce is an assistant principal at Guy Lee Elementary School in Springfield.
“I’m excited and looking forward to continuing to make sure we vaccinate all of our staff,” Pierce said.
Pierce praised families and educators for navigating distance learning and said the districts looks forward to welcoming students back to school when it's safe to do so.
“I feel like the brick-and-mortar school is missing its heartbeat," Pierce said. "It’s missing the pulse of a typical school setting, because we don’t have our kids in the building. Having them back is going to be a beautiful thing.”
Erica Deleno is an Educational Assistant at Two Rivers-Dos Rios Elementary.
“I can do my job the way it was meant to be done," Deleno said. "I don't have to worry as much.”
She said this is a step in the right direction.
“If you can do it, you might as well just do it," Deleno said. "It doesn't hurt. If it means that you’re going to be able to help others have their life back, why not do it?"
Estebon Torres agreed. He works within Life Skills at Mt. Vernon Elementary.
“It feels great to be part of the solution," Torres said. "I'm hopeful it’ll bring an end to this pandemic."
Torres said working online has been far from easy.
"I cant wait to work with the students in person," Torres said. "This is my first year working, so I've gotten to know them pretty well. It's nothing compared to being in person."
Below is Springfield Public Schools current plan for students returning to in-person instruction:
Feb. 4: Kindergarten – 1st Grade in-person begins – Mon., Tues., Thur., Fri.
Feb. 8: 2nd Grade in-person begins – Mon., Tues., Thur., Fri.
Feb: 11: 3rd Grade in-person begins – Mon., Tues., Thur., Fri.
Those in grades 4-12 will be phased in through hybrid learning.
Pierce shared that families and educators have done an incredible job at navigating distance learning, even through the many challenges it can bring.
"We’re looking forward to being able to be back in the school and in the classrooms with them and supporting them," Pierce said.