Teachers, District Employees To Begin Receiving Vaccine This Week
Jan 11, 2021, 10:35 PM | Updated: 11:10 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Health departments across Utah will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to teachers, coaches and other school district employees this week as part of the state’s phased vaccine distribution plan.
“I was pretty happy,” said Rudy Schenk, head coach of the East High soccer team.
Schenk, who is not a teacher at the school, wasn’t sure whether he’d be included in the rollout. But he found out Monday that as a district employee he can receive the vaccine.
It was welcome news for a coach who works with more than 40 players and who recently started conditioning them for the upcoming season.
“The rolling out of the vaccine is awesome,” Schenk said. “Much sooner than I was expecting actually.”
Schenk has been coaching for 22 years, but he’s been looking forward to this season more than most after COVID-19 got in the way just three games into last year’s season.
“I said, ‘Well, hopefully this will be done in two weeks and we’ll be back out here,’” he remembered. “Could not have been more wrong.”
Salt Lake County has about 8,000 doses that will be divided between five school districts, depending on the number of employees. The Granite School District will be getting 2,300 doses the first week. Officials with the Salt Lake City School District said it has been allocated 800 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, enough to cover about 25% of their employees, beginning with those 55 years and older.
“I’m not going to tell you how old I am but it’s older than 55,” Schenk said with a smile.
Schenk knows there are no guarantees this season. But for him, the vaccine is not only an added layer of protection for himself but for his team’s opportunity to compete and finish what they were not able to last year.
“We all want to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “That light is stepping onto that field for that first game. Everything we can do to make that happen we’re going to do.”