AJA teachers and staff were vaccinated on Tuesday, March 9, the second day after the State of Georgia expanded its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to educators. Substitute teachers and coaches were also included in the vaccinations. A few teachers had already been vaccinated as part of other criteria, while a couple others were unable to get the shot because they or family members felt sick or contracted COVID-19, according to AJA Executive Director and High School Instruction Leader Ms. Sarif.
Teachers received their first dose of the vaccine produced by Moderna. The second dose, which the Centers for Disease Control (DCD) recommends to confer full immunity, will be given on campus the week after Passover break.
Ms. Sarif explained that after several unsuccessful attempts at contacting pharmacies since January, Head of School Rabbi Ari Leubitz heard about and suggested Tuxedo Pharmacy as a group that could provide vaccines. Ms. Sarif realized Tuxedo had been her pharmacy for 25 years and was able to quickly call and secure a time. She said, “The opportunity to work with someone I know and trust was amazing.”
Rabbi Leubitz elaborated on his motivations for ensuring teachers received vaccines nearly as soon as possible. He told Palette, “People living in fear and [with] the stress they are under needed relief as soon as possible.”
Complimenting the organization and efficiency of the makeshift vaccination clinic in the High School gym, history teacher Mrs. Hana Hecht added, “I am very grateful that AJA was able to get for us the vaccine.”