PHOENIX - When Arizona receives its first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which state officials say should happen between mid to late December, teachers across the state will be among one of the first groups to get it.
On Dec. 6, one teacher who spoke with FOX 10's Jennifer Martinez says most of her colleagues are looking forward to the vaccine.
"I, for one, am very grateful to know that educators will be prioritized to be protected with that vaccine, especially with how the cases are going," said Spanish teacher Sara Wyffels.
Wyffels says she is ready to head back into the classroom after months of online teaching for Chandler Online Academy which is part of the Chandler School District. She says the vaccine will give a sense of protection from spreading it to family, or even her students.
"That main piece of survival and feeling I will be OK, and now, I can open up my focus on these others pieces," said Sara. "Teachers aren't just academic leaders. We are doing other things in our schools for our students, for the community, and our schools and families."
Dr. Shad Marvasti with the University of Arizona Phoenix tweeted out that due to no statewide mandate, many people are opting out of wearing masks at grocery stores and restaurants, putting others in danger and filling up hospital beds. Despite calls for a statewide mask mandate to be put in place, Governor Doug Ducey has, in two recent news conferences, refused to implement one.
“I think the steps that we’ve put in place, the participation that we have, has got the maximum amount of compliance with Arizonans wearing a mask,” Gov. Ducey said during a news conference on Nov. 17. “In addition, it’s nearly impossible to participate in our economy anywhere without wearing a mask.”
"I believe we should instead focus on accountability and enforcing the rules we have in place now," said Gov. Ducey, during a news conference on Dec. 2.
Dr. Marvasti agrees that teachers should be among the first to get vaccinated, adding that when in a pandemic, high-risk locations should be closed in order to keep schools running.
"Schools should be the last thing to close, and they should be the first to reopen, and that should be the priority, and that's where we should pay funds for targeted closures, so I think offering teachers the vaccine and including them as part of the first-line health care worker,s because education and mental health are very important to children, is just as important as the physical health of our population. ," said Dr. Marvasti.
Dr. Marvasti says that while the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, it won't be until 70% of the population has received that society has herd immunity.
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19