For some school nurses in the Dallas Independent School District, Friday felt a bit like the first day of school. That's because 57 nurses in the district got their COVID-19 vaccine shots, bringing the total number of nurses vaccinated in the district to 147.
"Those nurses gave good needles," Tracy Copeland said. "Yes, hardly felt it at all," Jennifer Barrett said.
Both Barrett and Copeland are registered nurses with Dallas ISD. Both have seen COVID-19 in their schools.
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"We have had quite a few students that have tested positive here," Barrett said. She's a school nurse at Career Institute North. "Actually, I was positive for the virus back in October," Copeland said, who is a nurse at Woodrow Wilson High School. "My symptoms were very mild, but it was a stressful 10-days being on isolation."
Dallas ISD is the second-largest school district in the state. In the first week of this year, the district reported 495 COVID-19 positive cases district-wide, with 83 of those reported Friday.
"There's a lot of worried teachers," Copeland said. "So hopefully me getting the vaccine first in the building will put some people at ease and let them know that they're gonna be next."
"It's really an amazing thing that we're getting this opportunity, having a vaccine so quickly that's state-of-the-art," Barrett said. "It's such a great thing for the future."
If you would like to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Dallas County, click here for more information.
That future will likely still have face masks in the classroom, even with the vaccine.
"You can't just take your mask off now because we have the vaccine," Copeland said. "That's just a message we're gonna have to keep reminding people about."
"I'm just hopeful," Barrett said.
Dallas ISD is working with Dallas County to vaccinate teachers and staff who fall in the 1-B COVID-19 vaccine group; those who are 65 and older, or have certain pre-existing conditions.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.