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Teachers concerned about returning to in-person classes before vaccine

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Posted at 9:14 PM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 14:44:19-05

TULSA, Okla. — Students and teachers are just days away school returning to session.

Some Green Country schools are back on January 4th, while others are slated to rejoin in-person later this month. Some schools are still in distance learning, while others are in-person.

Last month, Governor Kevin Stitt announced the Oklahoma State Health Department moved teachers in it's priority for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Teachers are now in Phase Two of the distribution plan; this puts them behind first responders, healthcare workers, and Oklahomans 65 and older.

Some teachers worried they'll have to return to the classroom before getting the vaccine.

A pre-K teacher at McKinley Elementary, Sommer Lyons, told 2 Works for You, "as soon as it's safe to say we can go back to school that conversation will be happening regardless of whether or not it's actually safe."

Officials told 2 Works for You the groups included in Phase Two will begin to receive the vaccine in the coming weeks.

Katie Steele, the librarian for Moore Elementary, said, "I have to say I was very nervous in August and this is starting to feel like August all over again.”

Union Public Schools returns to in-person classes on January 4th, and Tulsa Public Schools returns to in-person on January 25th for some and the rest on February 1st.

"They keep trying to jump the gun it seems like and we just have to keep changing our minds, which is worse than picking one thing and sticking with it, in my opinion," Lyons said.

The COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two doses, which are spread three to four weeks apart. Health officials say after the first shot, the vaccine has around a 50% effectiveness rate.

Lyons said even if she gets vaccinated before classes return to in-person learning, there are still a few weeks of teaching before the second dose can be administered.

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