Muscatine Community School District holds vaccine clinic

Muskie Early Learning Center teacher Michelle Jarrett receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Trinity Muscatine Public Health registered nurse Jolynn Herr.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Friday, Feb. 1, Muscatine Community School District, in partnership with Trinity Muscatine Public Health, held their first of three vaccination clinics for teachers at the former Central Middle School. The Clinic represents the next steps in Public Health’s efforts to vaccinate all of the county’s Phase One Tier 1B essential workers.

Public Health Director Christy Roby Williams shared that Public Health staff hopes to vaccinate between 150 and 200 people at each clinic. Along with vaccinating teachers, the clinics will provide vaccines for local childcare providers and Area Education Association staff members as well. Muscatine’s additional two clinics will take place Feb. 20 and the following weekend. Public health will then repeat them in about a month’s time to provide second doses. In addition to these clinics, they will also offer second doses to West Liberty Community School District and both rounds of the vaccine to Wilton Community School District. Durant and Louisa-Muscatine Community School Districts will receive their vaccines from Cedar and Louisa County Public Health respectively. “It feels wonderful to get the vaccine out to targeted populations, and to all populations, truthfully,” said Roby Williams.

Muscatine Community School District Superintendent Clint Christopher shared Roby Williams’ enthusiasm. “This is exciting to finally be here,” he shared while observing the clinic, adding staff, “can feel confident they’re being protected, especially as we transition to face to face learning.” He felt optimistic that Public Health would continue to receive enough doses of the vaccine in the future to offer all second doses on time.

From 3:30 to 6 p. m. Public Health worked quickly to vaccinate all of the teachers and childcare workers who came. After a brief check in process, Public Health staff would escort teachers to one of several vaccination stations before directing them to a waiting area where they requested they stay for 15 minutes to make sure they experienced no serious side effects.

The speed of the system impressed those receiving their shots. “It was so easy–I had no idea how easy it would be,” stated Katie Miles, a special education teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. “These ladies know what they’re doing.”

Those who received their vaccines also expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to gain more protection against COVID-19. “I knew I would get the vaccine as soon as it came out, weather we were in person or not,” shared Muscatine High School social studies teacher Rachel Hansen. “Now that we’re going back in person, it’s good to have another layer of protection.”

“I’m just very hopeful that if we get the vaccine and more people get it we’ll be able to get back to normal,” added Miles.