Vaccines at Saucon, what might change?

Vaccine availability for teachers encourages hope for normalcy in the next few months

Sara Good, Writer

Mid-March this year, teachers in Pennsylvania were granted access to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The teachers are part of the 1B group instead of the first wave of 1A so health workers and those who are considered high risk could gain access to the vaccines as soon as possible. 

It has been hard for many to procure the vaccine. In addition to this, smokers were also added to group 1A leading to an even larger flow of people and a tiny loop-hole for those looking to secure an appointment in the first and second wave of vaccinations. Science teacher Kimberly Tassinaro verbalized her frustrations, “many people were lying and saying they were smokers to get a vaccine and jump the line. It was incredibly frustrating.”

Even with all of the frustrations behind the process of getting the J&J vaccine, Tassinaro managed to get it after the National Guard began to run the teacher clinic. “It was insanely well run and efficient,” stated Tassinaro. “The entire rollout should be run that way.”

Tassinaro along with English teacher Melvin Moyer both had side effects to the vaccine, but both mentioned the worth of getting it. “As an educator, I think the vaccine was necessary. I took the opportunity to get the J&J vaccine, and even though I experienced the side effects of the vaccine, I do not regret it,” stated Moyer.

What could the access to the vaccine for teachers mean for the Saucon community? Well, this is obviously not completely clear, as no one knows what will occur in the future. Sophomore Cailee Farkas expressed her hopes for normalcy. “I really hope this will make things start to go back to normal again.” 

Many seem to be hoping for the same outcome as Farkas. “I would encourage anyone in the community who is eligible to get a vaccine,” stated Tassinaro, “the faster we can get our population vaccinated, the faster things will return to a more normal-ish way of life.”

Many hope for next school year to possibly be back to normal, but this may not be the case. There are a lot of variables that could affect the nation’s recovery this summer and fall. “I imagine masks and some level of distancing will still be required until we can get at least all middle and high school students vaccinated along with the staff,” expressed Tassinaro.

President Biden hopes to make all adults available for the vaccine by May 1. “That the vaccine will become available to everyone and some people will step outside their personal feelings and get vaccinated to protect the population as a whole,” mentioned Tassinaro in her hopes for summer changing the rate and flow of the vaccine. 

Farkas mentioned what she misses normal lunches, hanging with friends and seeing family.  At the same time she understands the necessity for social distancing and mask wearing.  “I don’t mind the masks, sometimes they can get annoying but people need to take them more seriously and wear them right,” expressed Farkas. 

One positive to come out of the pandemic: an appreciation for the average hum-drum school year.  “I have a much greater appreciation for what school was prior to the pandemic,” stated Moyer.