EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Department of Public Health made an important stop at the Effingham County Board of Education Office Thursday.
“We’re just excited this day has come and we can offer this service,” said ECSD Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford.
Among the first group to get the vaccine were school bus drivers, like Donald Laundre.
“I listened to a lot of people who said, ‘oh it hurts,’ and, ‘it bruised my arm.’ I didn’t even feel it. I’ve had mosquito bites bigger than that.”
Putting on a tough face for a good reason.
“Mainly just because I want to be safe around the children,” said Laundre, who is also looking forward to visiting his grandchildren in Florida.
Of course, these bus drivers interact with students regularly and play a crucial role in their education.
“The first and last person to see our children each and every day are our school bus drivers. I think it’s important that we take care of them because they take care of our children getting them to and from school,” said Dr. Ford.
A gesture that didn’t go unnoticed.
“I really feel like they have put us up there with the doctors and nurses,” said Bus Driver Betsy Dequeljoe.
Dequeljoe, getting the shot is about safety, and also because, “we’re wanting to get back to normal lives.”
And she feels getting the vaccine is the best way to do it.
A process that was much more than worth her time.
“They have made it so easy. It’s just flawless the way they do it. I was in here what five minutes?
In total they were able to vaccinate 35 staff members Thursday, but Friday, they plan to vaccinate close to 200 as they head to the different schools in the district.
They will continue to hold clinics each Friday through the end of the school year or until all who want the vaccine have gotten it.
According to the district, around 700 to 800 staff at ECSD have asked to get the vaccine.
That number does not include those who have already received one.