It was the day many teachers have been waiting on for months. The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was administered to thousands of teachers this week in Oklahoma. Many of whom have been missing out on their favorite part of teaching, meeting with their students face to face.
“I haven’t seen my students face to face…all the public libraries in Norman are closed, so I haven’t been able to meet with kids,” Amy Cochran, a teacher with EPIC Charter Schools, said.
Cochran was one of the 3,500 of teachers to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the massive IMMY Labs Point of Distribution in Norman this week.
The drive into the vaccine distribution reminded Cochran of the Chick-Fil-A drive. An organized ballet of cars with people to help and direct you at every point.
Cochran said it was an emotional moment. Not only was it a step to allow her to safely meet with her students again, but she was also overwhelmed seeing thousands of other teachers arriving to get vaccinated.
As of this week, more than 630,000 Oklahomans, or 16% of the population, have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses in order to be fully effective.
Since last March, more than 420,000 Oklahomans have tested positive for the virus. The state estimates an average of 16,000 people are being vaccinated each day. Oklahoma officials expect the state to reach herd immunity as early as this summer.
For Oklahoma herd immunity would mean more than 70% of the population would be immune from COVID-19 through either vaccination or having already recovered from the virus.
Oklahoma appears to be on par with the United States when it comes to getting citizens vaccinated. So far, 14% of the American population, which is equivalent to 45 million people, have received their first dose.
On Monday, President Joe Biden noted that 50 million vaccines have been administered since he took office.
However President Biden urged people to continue social distancing and wearing masks because there’s still “a long way to go” before American citizens can resume the life that was known before the COVID-19 pandemic.