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Teachers urged to get vaccinated as school countdown begins

Vaccines require time to take effect.
(Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune)
Published: Jun. 26, 2021 at 9:36 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It feels like the summer just started but we’re already six weeks away from some districts welcoming students back for another year.

Doctors say that while not all children can get vaccinated, now is the time for teachers to stick out their arms.

For the MRNA vaccines you need two to three weeks between the first and second shots, and then they aren’t completely effective until two weeks later. That means the clock is ticking for teachers who have been waiting to get vaccinated before they go back to class.

Districts like Birmingham City Schools have held vaccine clinics at local schools to allow those ages 12 and up to get the Pfizer shot but not all students will likely be eligible for the vaccine before August. Doctors at UAB say that making schools safer and keeping kids in class could come down to the teachers, especially as the Delta Variant involves so many unknowns and has shown up in Alabama.

“I think right now the important thing is to have all the teachers who can get vaccinated, because that is going to protect them from the delta variant and we know that already,” said Dr. Paul Goepfert, an Infectious Diseases specialist at UAB.

He says since we know kids and younger people typically have better outcomes than adults, the adults getting vaccinated is key.

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