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Nearly 500 Abilene ISD staff received 1st COVID-19 vaccine dose, but the journey is far from over



ABILENE, TX– Despite the dangers of the pandemic, teachers and school staff are still making sure students are getting their education. Even though some of Abilene ISD’s staff received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last week, there is a long road ahead for everyone in the district.

According to Abilene ISD’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Wednesday evening there have been a total of 1,047 positive COVID cases reported, 524 of which are staff members.

“Our teachers and other employees have courageously come to work and been there for kids, or driven buses, or prepared food,” said Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young.

Late last week, around 500 Abilene ISD staff members who qualified for groups 1A and 1B received the 1st dose of the COVID vaccine.

“I had a lot of feedback from lots of employees that got vaccinated on Friday that were very glad to have the opportunity,” said Dr. Young.

Dr. Young was one of the people who qualified for this round of vaccinations, and he says he did not enjoy the soreness, but it was worth it for his mental health.

“The next day it kind of felt like somebody hit my arm with a baseball bat, but it was, in my opinion, that was an OK tradeoff for the peace of mind. That even knowing I’m only half of the way there,” said Dr. Young.

Dr. Young says he is hopeful more teachers, staff, and community members receive the vaccine as soon as possible.

“One of their mandates from the state is to try to vaccinate large groups that have impact over large gatherings, and certainly school is a large gathering,” said Dr. Young.

There are about 2,500 staff members in Abilene ISD. So since just over 500 of them have tested positive, that means roughly 20% of the staff has contracted COVID-19. According to the dashboard, 504 of the 524 staff members who tested positive at one point have since recovered.

As of Wednesday evening Abilene ISD currently has 61 active positive COVID cases. 41 students and 20 staff members.