THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — You could almost feel the sense of relief from Thomas County Central High School teachers and administrators who were first in line to get their COVID-19 shots.
"I feel like a load's kind of taken off a little bit, said Lamar Matthews," said one Thomas County Central High School Administrator.
Matthews sat in observation after receiving his shot. He and others were happy to be vaccinated as soon as possible to protect their classrooms and families.
"I've had a family member that died of COVID as well, and so you know it's just very emotional but it's also uplifting to know that we have a vaccination," said Matthews.
Economics teacher Leigh Barwick received her shot as well and adds, "I also have medically fragile people that live in my home. I have a son who is diabetic and a husband with asthma as well so to protect them I also wanted to get the shot."
School nurses like Ashley Sowell witness their relief firsthand and look forward to the impact the shots will have on the rest of the school year.
"I think it's great that the teachers and staff are able to get the vaccine since the children are not able to get it right now," said Sowell. "It will help with attendance, people hopefully not getting the virus, it can cut down on people having to be quarantined as much."
Superintendent Lisa Williams says 161 teachers signed up to receive their shots Monday, with even more ready and waiting for their shots on Tuesday. In addition to taking a vaccine herself, her training as a registered nurse allowed her to administer vaccines as well.
"It just means a lot that I'm able to be hands-on to help bring the vaccine to our teachers to make it as convenient as we possibly can for them to be able to sign up," said Williams. "They don't have to leave campus, they can sign up anytime during the day, or after school."
On-site vaccinations will continue throughout the week.