Teachers Start to Receive Vaccines


Paul Verbansky

Stephanie Verbansky receives a vaccine from healthcare workers at the Oakland Coliseum.

With the possibility of hybrid learning coming up this spring, teachers became eligible to receive their 1st dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Oakland Coliseum starting February 16.

According to English teacher Jamie Donohoe, the process included health workers and volunteers directing people “VERY efficiently through a maze of cones to the area where shots [were] administered.”

“It was a drive-up thing where we each stuck our arm out the window. Then we were steered to a spot where we waited in our cars for 15 minutes–an observation area to make sure we didn’t suffer any adverse effects,” Donohoe said.

Chemistry teacher Stephanie Verbanszky said the main reason why she got vaccinated was to help stop the spread and contribute to the overall goal of reaching herd immunity. “In order to end the pandemic, we need to achieve herd immunity, which can be achieved by enough people becoming immune either naturally (by contracting covid) or by immunization. Because it is not safe to allow enough people to get covid to achieve herd immunity, enough people must be vaccinated,” explained Verbanszky.

“I got a vaccine to protect myself and my family from coronavirus. As a teacher and educator who could be going back to some form of in-person learning, it was really important,” said history teacher Thomas Renno.

Despite the benefits, Donohoe said that it would not be mandatory for all teachers to be vaccinated as “there is no legality nor official stance that would indicate that (that [he has] heard).”

“While I recognize that it cannot be made mandatory for teachers to be vaccinated,” Verbansky said, she still “hope[s] that all teachers do so in order to help move our population towards herd immunity, to protect themselves from covid symptoms, and to perhaps decrease their ability to spread covid.”

“Obviously people when caring for their own medical health should have a choice, but there is a whole community piece to this whole thing,” Renno said. “Once we get enough people vaccinated then it makes everybody safe. It’s a balance in between protecting individual choice and doing what’s in the best interest of a larger community.”

“Obviously, I also hope to avoid becoming symptomatic myself if I contract covid and, although the science is unclear, perhaps being vaccinated will decrease my likelihood of transmitting covid if I get infected,” added Verbanszky.