Loy Norrix staff relieved to get COVID-19 vaccine


Credit: Dyami Hernandez

Dyami Hernandez, math and Latin teacher, feeling powerful after getting his COVID-19 vaccination.

Stella Amy, Social Media Team

“I felt incredibly safe during the whole vaccination process,” said LN teacher Sammy Simpson, “There were definitely tears of happiness at the site where I got my vaccine.” 

The COVID-19 vaccine has been available for quite some time in Kalamazoo County, and it is starting to become available to Loy Norrix teachers and staff.

According to Kalamazoo County Government, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

A survey was sent out to Loy Norrix teachers and staff asking them if they have been vaccinated and what their experience while getting vaccinated was like. There was negative feedback from some teachers regarding the sign up process and getting registered to be vaccinated. 

English teacher Brianna English said, “Making the appointment was a hassle. The system was difficult to navigate, and the slots filled up quickly so it felt stressful.” 

In order to get vaccinated you have to sign up online and schedule an appointment, which seems to be frustrating many people nationwide who currently qualify to get vaccinated. 

“We keep getting pushed further and further back,” said social studies teacher Rebecca Layton.“ I want to be able to offer some limited in-person interactions with students who I know could use it, but I feel like I cannot do that until I am vaccinated.” 

But once you get to the site to receive the vaccination, many report that the process was smooth-sailing. 

Spanish teacher Kristen Antoniotti described the process of being vaccinated when you get to the site. 

“There were dots on the floor to indicate six feet of spacing. In the next room, I was once again greeted by another volunteer who told me to go to lanes D and E,” Antoniotti continued. “Then I was greeted by yet another volunteer who gave me some paperwork to fill out as well as a pen. He told me to fill out the top sheet and to make my way to one of the computer kiosks so that I could follow the various prompts.” 

“I think it’s also important to note that there was hand sanitizer at every turn. At the computer table, there was even a sign that instructed me to sanitize my hands before and after using the computer. Once I was finished, I got up and was met by another volunteer who told me where to dispose of my used pen and where I could get into line to finally get my first dose of the vaccine. I waited in line for 5-10 minutes before being told I could go to cubicle 8. There I was greeted by a nurse, who administered my vaccine.” 

There seems to be mostly positive response from staff regarding the vaccine and the vaccination process. 

“It was very efficient. I went near the end of the day after school,” said Latin and math teacher Dyami Hernandez. “The first round I basically just walked in and got my shot right away. The second time I had a short wait in line but everything moved very quickly. I got in the building, answered a few questions, they gave me the shot. I stayed for about 15 minutes for observation and then I could go home.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to still follow guidelines when in public settings. 

“It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions,” reads the CDC website.

After being vaccinated there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of relief from teachers and staff. 

“It was very exciting in a surreal sort of way. I was flooded with relief upon the needle entering my arm. At first I didn’t even recognize that what I was feeling was relief, that to feel in such a way meant that I had been fretful and on the edge for so very long,” said English teacher Anne Lewis.

Kyle Shack is grateful that this vaccine will make life more safe for all of his family members.

 “[I’m] very relieved that I am closer to being able to keep my family safe by not bringing the virus home, and closer to getting back to seeing students in the classroom in person,” Shack said.

Now the hope is that everyone who is able to be vaccinated will be able to experience the same safety and feelings of relief.

“I hope everyone gets a chance to get vaccinated sooner rather than later,” said Simpson.