Pfizer vaccine brings hope to staff


Photo courtesy of: Polly Dierkens

Math teacher Ryan Spence receives his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine March 18 from a Giant Eagle employee.

Sidney Reese , Reporter

On Feb 25 Streetsboro staff had the opportunity to take the first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine here at the high school.

The second dose will be given on March 18, which will be an asynchronous day for the students. The following day will be a calamity day, the start of spring break.

Staff members had different reasons for wanting to take the vaccine but one constant among them was wanting to protect others. 

History teacher Kris Gaug said,I chose to receive the vaccine because all indications are that it is safe and effective, and I believe it is critically important that as many people as possible are vaccinated to reduce the impact of this disease as much as possible.”

Gaug said trying our best to reduce the impact of the disease is something society should be doing as a whole, and some of his colleagues agree. 

“I think the vaccine is a great idea for everyone,” said biology teacher Tracey Schneeman. “We need to reach a level of security in society, so as many people can get vaccinated, the better.”

Science teacher Robert Sternburg got the vaccine even earlier than the rest of the staff because he also works as an EMT. He said the decision to be vaccinated was a no-brainer for him.

 “I chose to receive the vaccine because not only am I a teacher but also I am a firefighter and an EMT on an ambulance and did not want to bring COVID home to my family due to the fact that we were transporting so many patients to hospitals who were COVID positive,” he said.

Concerns about getting the vaccines often involve the potential side effects.

English teacher Molly Klodor said she had a few light side effects to the first dose. “I had a sore arm, but frankly, no more sore than a flu shot or the Gardasil shot. I had a bit of a headache on that Friday night following and I was VERY tired. I slept 14 hours Friday night. But I woke up Saturday morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!” 

Other teachers replied with similar answers.

“I guess my arm feeling like it got punched really hard was my only Shot 1 side effect,” said business teacher Timothy Foster. 

Even with the side effects, none of these teachers had any regrets about taking the vaccine.

“I’m so incredibly grateful to the scientists, doctors, pharmacists, clinical trial participants and to everyone who participated in the creation and distribution of the vaccine,” Klodor said. “I’m proud to have my first dose. I look forward to the second dose, and I wait the days until my immuno-compromised family members get their turn.” 

While he has no regrets, Gaug did have some questions and concerns.

“I would be dishonest if I did not say that I sometimes have questions and concerns about the possible long-term effects of the vaccine, as they are impossible to know without the passage of time,” he said.” In some ways, the entire population is part of one big experiment!” 

While Gaug and others are concerned about the unknown, they still said getting vaccinated was a great opportunity.

“That is a choice each individual needs to make on their own,” Sternberg said. “However, I’m glad that all of the teachers had the ability to receive the vaccine so quickly.”

This vaccine has given a sense of hope to the staff, as they view this vaccine as one step closer to seeing and being around their loved ones. 

 “I chose to take the vaccine for a few reasons,” Klodor said. “First, I wanted to make sure that I was protecting myself and those I love. I haven’t been able to see my parents except for over winter break, and that was only because we were virtual during that period. I’ve only seen my brother, sister-in-law and niece a few times and always while wearing masks. I haven’t seen my grandmothers in over a year.”

 Schneeman also expressed the desire to return to regular activities and family time. “I am ready to get life back to normal not just ditch the masks and go to concerts, but hug my parents and kiss my 3-month-old niece,” she said “Whatever that takes, I’m ready!”