Longmont United Hospital’s Jennifer Kiley has vaccinated hundreds of people for the COVID-19 virus over the past several weeks including doctors, nurses and other frontline health care workers. Today, she took special pleasure in doling out Pfizer shots to educators from Longmont and surrounding communities in a bid to reunite teachers with their students on a full time basis without fear of a COVID-19 infection.
“I am super excited today,” said Kiley, a LUH trauma program manager “Teachers want to get back into the classroom and kids need to be back in school. This is a great day.”
Longmont was one of six hospital clinics in the Centura Health Community providing first vaccines to educators across the state today, said Antony Pearson, the LUH’s Chief Medical Officer.
About 200 local educators were slated to get the COVID-19 shots at LUH, Pearson said. The effort will make it easier for teachers and local schools to get back to a normal schedule as the vaccines shield against further infections, he said.
“Our teachers are a huge resource in this community,” Pearson said. “Getting them back to a normal schedule is a huge goal. Kids also need to be back to the classroom on a full time basis. Being able to socialize with their friends is almost as important as to what goes on in the classroom.”
St. Vrain Valley elementary students are attending in-person classes. Middle and high school students are on a hybrid schedule, rotating between in-person classes and learning remotely.
After delivering 1,700 vaccines since mid-December, there have been few reports of adverse reactions to the inoculations, Pearson said. Mostly, he said, people have complained about arm pain shortly after being vaccinated.
Amy Anderson sat in a chair just after she got her dose from Kiley, who told all patients to sit quietly for 15 minutes to guard against any kickback from the shot.
Anderson, a human resources representative from Twin Peaks Charter Academy, said she did not hesitate when offered a chance to get the vaccine at LUH. “I feel great, I feel so relieved,” Anderson said.
Centura this weekend is also hosting a mass vaccination clinic at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, where as many as 5,000 people are expected.
“We are fortunate that Centura is being consistent in supplying vaccines for those who qualify,” Pearson said. “We are doing our best to make sure people get the vaccine as quickly and as smoothly as possible.”