MNPS teachers, staff get first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) – This weekend hundreds of Metro Nashville Public Schools teachers are getting their first round of COVID-19 vaccines.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurses are administering the shots. There’s about a half dozen vaccination stations set up inside their location at 100 Oaks Mall.

On Saturday, approximately 500 teachers received their first dose. That’s according to MNPS spokesman Sean Braisted.

Emma Poppe teaches first grade at Smith Springs Elementary and tells News 2 she was very thankful for the opportunity. She’s been teaching virtually for almost an entire year and is eager to get back into the classroom.

“You kind of forget on the camera how much you love kids and how much you love being there and being with the students. I think virtual is going really well. As well as it can be, but it’s not the same as being in person and having that relationship and connection and those bonds with the kids,” Poppe said.

Fourth grade math and science teacher at Gower Elementary David Harrison said he felt the same way.

“With virtual teaching, my goal this year was to show that a school is not a building. It’s a relationship that you have with kids, but I like the relationship in person much more of course,” Harrison said.

Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, Dr. Adrienne Battle, also got her vaccine Saturday. She addressed reporters saying the vaccines give the school district a better chance of maintaining in-person learning for those who want to be in the classroom as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“It also shows our ability and our commitment to continue to get mitigation strategies in place, to prioritize safety for everyone—our employees, our students, and our families,” Dr. Battle said.

According to an MNPS press release, about 4,500 out of nearly 14,000 eligible staff have booked their first appointment with Vanderbilt Health to receive the vaccine between February 20 and February 28, with approximately 2,000 more appointments available during the week of March 1 through March 5.

Additional appointment opportunities will be made available based on demand and the availability of vaccine supply provided through the Tennessee Department of Health.

This process is available to MNPS and charter school staff in Nashville, while private, parochial and other K-12 staff will receive their vaccinations through HCA and/or the Metro Public Health Department.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )

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