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'It’s very important I’m healthy' | St. Louis school employees get a shot of protection at vaccine event

Saint Louis Public Schools is inviting teachers from all city schools to a mass vaccination event
Credit: Sara Machi

ST. LOUIS — Teachers at St. Louis schools have an opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

Saint Louis Public Schools is holding a mass vaccination event Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and inviting city teachers in public, private and parochial schools. Appointments are required. Organizers hope to vaccinate more than 800 people per day. The event is a joint effort between SLPS, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Missouri National Guard.

“Dr. Adams, our leader, is always looking out for or trying to help teachers. I don’t think he sees it as Saint Louis Public Schools. He sees it as a city," said Dr. Michael Brown, deputy superintendent of student support services at SLPS.

Urban League Vice President James Clark testified to the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I am a COVID-19 survivor,” said Clark. “I was totally devastated by COVID back in January. It entered into my lungs and almost took my life.”

St. Louis educators discussed why they welcomed an opportunity to get the shot. Dan McCalter works in security at SLPS.

“Working in the position I do, I work with an enormous amount of people,” said McCalter. “I come into contact with my mother and it’s very important I’m healthy.”

Jennifer Connell is a school librarian.

“My appointment was for 11 o'clock and it was very quick and easy,” she explained.

Natalie Reddy is a math teacher at Soldan High School.

“I’m really excited to move on with life and move past this pandemic, so I can get all my kids back in my class," said Reddy.

Roosevelt science teacher Taylor Mirka said she understands the importance of the vaccine.

“It’s not only important for you and me, as a young-ish, healthy person,” said Mirka. “But also to protect everyone else who can’t get the vaccine yet or people who are immune-compromised.”

Clark said the Urban League is coordinating more large-scale teacher vaccinations in the coming weeks and months at Ferguson-Florissant, Jennings, Riverview and Ladue school districts.

If you would like more information on how to get on a vaccine waitlist in your community, read 5 On Your Side's complete vaccination guide with links, phone numbers and the latest on mass vaccine events in your area.

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