Teachers, others now eligible for COVID-19 shots in Georgia are pleased, relieved

Governor’s order makes new groups eligible for vaccine as of Monday

In Southeast Georgia -- local teachers and school staff got their first chances to be vaccinated against COVID-19. News4jax reporter Ashley Harding spoke whith people in Camden County who shared their relief.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Georgia teachers and other school and child care employees gained access to the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, per the latest executive order from Gov. Brian Kemp.

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and parents of children with complex medical conditions are now also able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia under new guidelines issued last week.

“We’re really excited. We were kind of hoping to get the news a little sooner,” Glynn Academy Principal Matthew Blackstone said.

Blackstone said his teachers are relieved and excited to sign up for their shots. He said he will wait until his teachers and staff get vaccinated before he gets a shot himself.

“We can’t wait to have our first pep rally again,” Blackstone said. “We want to do things as a group. We want to come together as a community, and we’ve got a lot of excitement about vaccinations.”

Camden County school bus driver Teresa Coleman was among the first to get a shot Monday morning. She said one of several reasons she wants to be vaccinated are to be able to help the children.

“Kids crack you up. They keep you on your toes,” Coleman said. “You got to wear your mask right now. ... The little ones just don’t understand. They still want their little hugs.”

The Southeast Georgia Health System opened a vaccination event at 8 p.m. Monday at the Camden Community Recreation Center -- right next to Camden County High School. It will be open until to 3 p.m. Monday, then at the same times and the same place on Friday.

Coleman said she was nervous about getting the shot, even prayed on it, but found out “it’s not scary at all.”

A.J. Waye was also worried about getting the vaccine but turned out Monday because he takes care of his mom.

“I have to protect her, along with myself,” Waye said. “It was very organized. It didn’t take long at all.”

On Wednesday, SGHS is holding a clinic at the Brunswick Campus -- Linda S. Pinson Center on Parkwood Drive from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Coastal Health District will hold a vaccination event also on Wednesday at the Howard Coffin Park on Sonny Miller Way in Brunswick.

And to accommodate school workers who want the shot, Glynn schools says it’s offering two vaccination clinics this week:

  • Friday from 2-6 p.m. at the Health Department
  • Saturday from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Brunswick High

If you’re a teacher or meet any of the criteria, you’ll be able to go myvaccinegeorgia.com and pre-register for a shot. Vaccines are given at these sites by appointment only.

Starting tomorrow in Georgia, teachers, school and child care center staff, adults with intellectual and development disabilities and parents of children with complex medical conditions will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

“We are grateful that they are next in line on the priority list for this vaccine,” said Glynn School Superintendent, Dr. Scott Spence.

Camden County Schools Superintendent, Dr. John Tucker, said he’s grateful his district’s staff will be vaccinated soon.

“In addition to becoming eligible for vaccines through the Health Department, Southeast Georgia Health System, and local retail providers, our employees have been given the opportunity to register for a vaccine clinic next weekend,” Tucker said.

“It has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone -- students, staff, and families alike -- but our staff has continued to serve the community daily despite the challenges,” Ware Schools Superintendent Dr. Bert Smith said. “Expanding vaccine availability to school staff members is an important step in helping schools across the state return to normal operations.”

On March 17, Kemp said, several new federal mass vaccination clinics will open, including one at the Waycross Mall in Ware County.

“Just do it because that’s the only way we’re going to get rid of this,” Coleman said.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.