PCS holds vaccination clinic for staff

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM – To help ensure the safety of teachers and staff at Pelham City Schools, the district held a vaccination clinic on March 2, which provided free COVID-19 vaccines to several employees.

According to PCS Lead Nurse Julie Stevenson, the clinic was an effort put together and supported by Shelby Baptist Medical Center, Dr. Robert Snyder from Cahaba Family Medicine, PCS nurses, and representatives from the Pelham Fire Department.

“About a week prior we got word from Shelby Baptist Medical Center that they had about 90 vaccines that they could offer us to distribute,” Stevenson explained. “They provided the oversight for the clinic and we arranged and set up all the tables and scheduling for the event.”

This clinic comes a year after the state began taking measures to address the newly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, which specifically impacted schools causing classes to be canceled forcing students to learn at home.

Stevenson expressed that this vaccination clinic was important, because it was a way to get all students back in school and learning from teachers in a safe environment.

“Our teachers have gone above and beyond to keep our schools open, and our support staff has done such a great job of keeping our schools safe,” Stevenson said. “For our parents who have been teaching their kids at home or helping with virtual learning this helps to ensure that kids can get back to school and the parents can go back to working.”

With all 90 doses being administered to staff, the school is becoming a safer place for students and faculty to be without worrying about spreading the virus.

“I think that this was very important from a safety standpoint,” Stevenson said. “We have seen children with COVID-19 who just have mild symptoms, but with adults they seem more serious symptoms, so we felt it was important to be able to offer it to the staff to protect them.”

Aside from the health benefit, Stevenson also expressed that the clinic was a great representation of different aspects of the community coming together.

“It was a good effort community-wide, and EMS was there to help with reactions. Our central office staff members came to help organize snacks and traffic control,” she explained.  “There was a great effort from the school system. As a whole we are in the process of securing more vaccines for the staff.”

Around 150 staff members expressed interested in receiving a vaccine, and the school system hopes to be able to put on a second clinic to get the rest of the interested staff vaccinated.

“I am so proud of my school nurses. This is out of their comfort zone. It was great for them to be involved and show how they can get it done,” Stevenson said.

A second vaccination clinic for PCS employees who are interested will take place on March 16th at PPMS and the second dose will be on April 13 at PPMS.