BOUSD Teachers Get Vaxxed


Courtesy of Verronica Clements

Verronica Clements, English teacher, receives her second dose of the Moderna vaccine on March 30 at a Brea CVS. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me in a CVS store,” Clements said.

“I want a ‘normal’ back,” Verronica Clements, English teacher said, when asked why she was quick to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Teachers in the state of California were officially eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning March 1, after Governor Gavin Newsom announced that 10% of the first doses would be reserved for educators.

Shelley Weiseth, Biology teacher, received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine after months of waiting to be eligible for vaccination. Weiseth signed up through the Kaiser Permanente app, submitting documents to prove her educator status. At Kaiser Permanente, Weiseth describes going into a large room with chairs set out, where a nurse “gave me the vaccine and then I had to wait in my chair for 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t have any adverse reactions. Then I was on my way and feeling good,” Weiseth said. 

After receiving the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine (Johnson & Johnson only requires one dose), many teachers feel reassured because of the 95% protection level against the virus, suffering from only mild to little side effects like fever and muscle sores.  

Mary Grigoli, Chemistry teacher, received her second dose of the Moderna vaccine on April 3 at a local CVS pharmacy. Grigoli said she felt “so much more comfortable” after having her both doses, feeling “achy, with chills and fever,” soon after her second dose.

Clements also received her vaccine at CVS Pharmacies. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me in a CVS store,” Clements said.

If my Dad did two tours in Vietnam, the least I can do is get a vaccine.

— Verronica Clements

In Orange County, 896,221 people have been “fully vaccinated” as of April 18. 28 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the state as of April 27.

Patricia Humphrey, Brea Junior High School science teacher, was one of the first teachers to receive the Moderna vaccine in January. Humphrey gave her account of her experience: “I didn’t have any allergic reactions, nor did I have any side effects.” Humphrey’s daughter took the vaccine along with her, feeling tired and sore in her arm. 

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims no long term effects occur after injection of any of the vaccines, there may be some side effects which simply ensure that the body is building protection, including swelling, chills, fever, tiredness, and/or headaches.  

Gil Rotblum, history teacher and swim coach, received the Moderna vaccine on March 5. Soon after receiving the injection, he experienced lymph node swells on his armpit, a side effect that occurs to 11% of recipients. “I noticed the side effect on [March 8], it is fading but if it contacts hard there is a sharp pain. I run for fitness and it irritates me when I work out,” Rotblum said.

Because of symptoms one may feel after the vaccine and skepticism of how effective vaccines are, 30% of Americans are still hesitant about receiving the vaccine. George Gomez, parent of a BOHS student, will not be getting the vaccine. “I don’t know the long term side effects, and I don’t want to harm my family,” Gomez said.

 Clements acknowledges that “everyone has their own opinion regarding vaccinations,” but feels that it is part of being a good citizen to get a COVID-19 vaccination. “Some generations face wars, we [get a pandemic]; if my Dad did two tours in Vietnam, the least I can do is get a vaccine,” Clements said.