With vaccinations starting, Fairfax Co. moves closer to getting kids in classrooms

Teachers and staff at Fairfax County Public Schools receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Inova. (Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)

Teachers and staff at Fairfax County Public Schools receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Inova. (Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)

Teachers and staff at Fairfax County Public Schools receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Inova. (Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)
Teachers and staff at Fairfax County Public Schools receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Inova. (Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)

Teachers and staff at Fairfax County Public Schools receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Inova. (Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)

Teachers and staff at Fairfax County Public Schools receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Inova. (Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)

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When you work in public schools, weekends are for sleeping in. But some Fairfax County Public School employees got up early on the Saturday of a three-day weekend anyway so they could be among the first to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The process itself was easy, and neither Nick Reed, a substitute teacher and track coach in the county, or Ester Dela Paz, who works at Glen Forest Elementary, reported feeling much in the way of side effects.

Instead what they felt was relief.

“Psychologically, it’s a big boost for me,” said Reed. “I know it’s not as effective until you get a second dose but just knowing you have that first line of defense is definitely reassuring. It makes you feel a little bit safer.”

“I was excited to get it,” he added.

His comments echoed those of Dela Paz, who works in the front office at Glen Forest.

“Taking the vaccine was another layer of defense,” said Dela Paz, who compared the current set up in her school to that of a health clinic.

It was meant in a good way.

“We have plexiglass, we have a sanitizer section, we have health questionnaires, we set up a care room.”

Now this is one more step to provide her, and her family, peace of mind as the county gets ready to unveil another plan to get more kids back in the classroom.

The next update from school leaders is set to for February 2.

“The kids have had enough online learning and sitting in front of the computer is a pretty tiring day,” said Reed, who acknowledged kids are also missing the social aspect of being out of class so long too. “It does feel good knowing we’re at least actually in the process of moving towards being in school and having that be more of a reality than being a vision or a dream or just a moveable plan.”

This is at least a first step in that direction,” he added.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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