GREENSBORO, N.C. — The first of thousands of Guilford County teachers set to receive their coronavirus vaccines got their shots Thursday.
I don't think I have ever been so excited to get a vaccine shot in my life," Vicki Payne said.
Teachers arrived for their vaccines at each of the county's three vaccine clinics.
"I don't even believe I sat down until they made you wait the 15 minutes to make sure that you didn't have a severe reaction," Stephanie Tison said.
She was one of many who got hers at the Greensboro Coliseum--the county's largest vaccine clinic.
Getting the coronavirus vaccine meant something different to each one of them.
"I'm an EC Teacher," Lisa Corpening said, "I feel that I'm able to protect myself as well as protect the children from catching the COVID from me."
"I'm a younger teacher but I do have preexisting conditions so it allowed me to get in and get safe because this is the first week that we do have kids back in class," Tison said.
Across the Triad, more and more teachers are getting their vaccines.
Mount Airy City Schools got theirs at two different clinics in the county. Forsyth County focused on private and charter school staff on Thursday and Friday.
The county will vaccinate Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools staff on Saturday.
Cone Health will help vaccinate teachers in Alamance County over the weekend.
"People are really excited. The momentum is there. We're all ready to go and get it done and we're all ready to be in front of our students. It's been a long year," Amy Schenck said.
Schenck said its a full circle moment as more students return for in person learning.
"March 13 was our last day last year and then my eighth graders, March 11 will be their first day back. So it will almost be 365 days until they're back in that school and it's about time," Schenck said.
Guilford County is using all of its first dose vaccines for teachers and school staff during the next two weeks.
Friday will be a remote learning day for Guilford County Schools as more staff members get their vaccines.
"It's such a feeling of relief, I can't explain it. It's just nice to know that that's been taken care of and the majority of my cohorts are getting it tomorrow," Nicole Abell said.
All North Carolina teachers are eligible to get the vaccine in this phase. Bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, maintenance staff and substitute teachers are also included.