Kent County teachers talk about being vaccinated for COVID-19

KENT COUNTY — As the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed here in West Michigan, teachers in kindergarten through high school are now able to get their shots.

FOX 17 caught up with a couple of them to see how they were feeling about their opportunities.

“One of the biggest things as a teacher, especially one of I call them, my littles that I’ve missed is the contact, my kids are huggers, and I hug them and we’ve not been able to do that,” said teacher Julie Brill.

But now that Julie has received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, that may begin to change.”It’s always been air hugs, or, you know, now it’s pretend fist bumps, everything,” she said. “And so, getting this vaccine is going to get me personally one step closer to being able to have that human contact with my littles and hug them and show them how much I love and care for them.”

he 2nd grade teacher at Kentwood Public Schools says she wasn’t sure about the vaccine at first.

“And part of my hesitancy was just the speed in which the vaccine went through,” Julie said. “I kept thinking about smallpox. It took so long, and that was a known virus and Corona has already mutated so many times. And then I realized, you know, well, it’s not the early 1900s. So vaccines can be produced quicker. And we have 1000s of doctors working worldwide. And I trust completely in science.”

Grandville Middle School US history teacher, Blake Mazurek, has been an educator for 28 years, and he has his own sports analogy about getting the vaccine.

“So I’m very excited about having that opportunity to you know, as I say move the ball down the field that we are moving closer and closer and closer to hopefully getting this thing under control, which will certainly help everybody and our students, our students need to be in school and but we need to be there safely. And this is how we’re going to get there,” Blake said.

Mazurek is hoping by telling his story about getting the vaccine, it will encourage others.

“So that we can start building our immunities and starting to get this in and get this virus under control so that our students are able to return fully back to school, we’re able to, to get back to the world of educating kids without masks. That type of thing,” he said. “It’s been a challenge this year, there’s no doubt.”

Julie Brill agrees 100%.

“And I hope that any school employee that has contacted daily contact with students would strongly consider getting the vaccine because it’s going to be our first step to getting complete, full in person instruction and basically trying to get back to some degree of normalcy,” she said.

For more the latest on COVID-19 and the vaccine click here.