A few high-risk Austin ISD teachers, staff receive COVID vaccine

Some high-risk ISD teachers in Austin are receiving COVID vaccines

Qualified teachers received a follow-up email and phone call to schedule an appointment for the vaccine.

The first round of teachers who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine began on Saturday morning. Austin ISD has partnered with Ascension Seton to deliver the vaccine to a limited number of high-risk employees.

The distribution runs from January 2nd to 5th.

“I was vaccinated with the Moderna COVID vaccine. I didn’t think I’d say that,” said Amanda O’Malley, an ISD teacher in Austin.

O’Malley received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Ascension Seton on Saturday morning. “I was put in a room, got my vaccine, and then you have to be observed for 15 minutes after you get the vaccine,” said O’Malley.

On Friday evening, Austin ISD superintendent, Dr. Stefanie Elizalde, an email to the staff announcing her partnership with Ascension Seton. This enabled the AISD to secure a limited number of vaccines for qualified teachers.

“I took my COVID 19 vaccine and the process was very well organized. I’m fine, but I can also feel all the science behind it, that will not only protect me, and I still have to wait for this second round”, he said to Patty Candelaria, an ISD teacher in Austin.

Qualified teachers received a follow-up email and phone call to schedule an appointment for the vaccine. According to AISD, qualified individuals fall into the 65 or older category and employees at high risk.

“From Saturday, January 2 through Tuesday, January 5, on-campus employees 65 years and older will be invited through Ascension Seton’s partnership with Austin ISD to take the COVID-19 vaccine at a designated vaccination clinic from Ascension Seton. Following this, and based on vaccine availability, ISD employees in Austin with a qualified Group 1B High Risk Disease Condition will be asked to receive the vaccine under the Texas Department of Health’s Phase 1B Vaccine Priority Policy and notify eligible individuals via Phone call and email to communicate the vaccine registration process. “-Ascension Seton statement.


AISD teacher undergoing chemotherapy for rare heart disease refuses to request accommodation

One of her former students decided to help by creating a GoFundMe to pay for her PPE.

A month ago, Austin ISD denied more than 1,000 teacher accommodation to ISD to work from home during the spring semester.

“According to the CDC, I have three of the top reasons I have cancer, have immunocompromised and heart failure,” said Annie Dragoo, AISD teacher.

Dragoo was one of those teachers who got rejected but opted for the vaccine. “”[AISD told me] Your documented disease does not have a high risk status and this letter states that you have been identified as a high risk patient and so I am confused, “said Dragoo.

Several teachers tell FOX 7 that they are also confused with the process.

“If they are high risk, they are high risk, not the way the district is high risk. They are high risk, they should be at home, they should be in their shelter with the other 1100 people who did it. ” housed in the first round, “said Ken Zarafiz with Education Austin.

Dragoo says she will receive the vaccine on Monday if her doctors approve it, but admits she is still concerned.

All teachers who are not admitted to housing must report to the school on January 5th in order to teach in person.

“The reality is that the way these vaccines work isn’t instantaneous. It doesn’t work that way. It takes time for your immune system to actually build immunity after receiving the vaccine. It will make me feel safer in about two weeks I’ll feel even more secure after I get my second vaccine, “said O’Malley.



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