WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A new group of people became eligible for coronavirus vaccines Wednesday--teachers.
Guilford and Forsyth counties are preparing to vaccinate thousands of educators in the coming days but some school staff scheduled their shots with other providers on the first day.
"I am just, like really having a good day," Yolanda Grier said, "Can you say over the top excited?"
Grier's excitement about her shot was about more than herself. She is thinking about what it means for her students.
"Honestly, it has been hard to be away from the students even though we see them every day on Zoom," Grier said.
Grier teaches her art students in person two days a week at The Point College Preparatory and Leadership Academy in Jamestown.
She got her shot at a clinic on Winston-Salem State University's campus through Novant Health.
"We are on the frontlines, we are in front of students and I don't take that lightly," Grier said.
Bigger pushes to vaccinate teachers begin Thursday in both Forsyth and Guilford Counties.
"Teachers are primarily going to be (from) private schools tomorrow and Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.," Forsyth County Director of Public Health Joshua Swift said.
Forsyth County will vaccinate 1,500 school staff from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Saturday. Three thousand Guilford County Schools employees will be vaccinated Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Guilford County Department of Public Health will vaccinate about 4,600 teachers in total this week.
"We're getting ready for those clinics coming up in the next few days," county health director Dr. Iulia Vann said, "We're making sure that we have the vaccine properly packaged and ready to go."
Grier said more vaccinations for teachers like her give her a dose of optimism.
"I'm excited about what this day means for those in education," Grier said, "My hope is that we will return to the classrooms sooner."