Beginning on Jan. 14, all teachers in FCPS were given the opportunity to receive the Covid-19 vaccine through the Inova Health System. These actions are part of Virginia’s Phase 1b in providing the vaccine to all frontline essential workers.
However, due to limited supplies, Inova announced on Jan. 25 that it was canceling appointments after Jan. 26 for the time being.
Business teacher Howard Dwyer was one of the teachers who were impacted by this change.
“It’s a little disappointing, but understandable with the amount of doses that are trying to get out right now,” Dwyer said.
The previous appointments started being rescheduled on Jan. 28. However, concerns of the vaccine’s slow rollout have not been completely resolved, especially as Fairfax Health District only receives 13,600 doses a week.
“It worries me because we’re supposed to go back to school really soon,” senior Anjum Ashraf said. “It’s not fair for [teachers] to be forced to go back if they haven’t gotten their vaccines.”
As some teachers have already received their first dose of the vaccine, many have been feeling mixed emotions.
“After getting the vaccine, I felt a little bit of guilt, because there are other people who need the vaccine too who can’t get it yet,” IB Environmental Systems and Societies teacher Barbara Hamill said, “but also hopeful that we’re finally winning this fight.”
With original appointments being pushed back and employees needing two to three weeks between their two doses, there is a chance that some employees will not be fully vaccinated by the FCPS return to school date. This creates some concern for teachers at AHS.
“Every single teacher that’s going to come back into the building needs to get [both doses],” Dwyer said. “We are around such a huge population of students. It’s not like I’m going to work in an office with 10 or 15 people. I’m around 1,000 kids all day.”
As vaccination centers reopened, many were quick to register for the vaccine again. According to the Fairfax County Health Department, over 180,000 have pre-registered for the vaccine since Feb. 1.
Virginia seems to steadily be working through problems related to limited supplies and other obstacles in vaccine distribution. At one point in late January, Virginia was ranked 50th out of 50 states in vaccine distribution. Now, Virginia is currently ranked 10th in vaccine distribution, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.