CMS teachers 65+ among 2,200 to get COVID-19 vaccine at mass vaccine event at Spectrum Center

Thousands get vaccinated at Spectrum Center

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands of North Carolinians are now one step closer to being fully vaccinated.

Approximately 2,240 people got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday at the Spectrum Center as a part of Novant Health’s mass vaccine clinic.

Many of the people there included healthcare workers in Group 1, older adults in Group 2, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees over 65 years old.

Other educators like Mike Dries and Ellen Buening also rolled up their sleeves to get their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday.

They both work for Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools and they’ve been doing in-person learning since August.

“I’m in and out of schools all the time every single day,” Buening said.

Buening coordinates after-school and lunch programs and Dries teaches fourth grade. Both agree that getting the vaccine is an extra shield of protection, not just for themselves, but for others too.

“It makes me less nervous to be in the school system and be able to go visit my mom and spend time with my family which hasn’t been as easy during this last year or so,” Dries said.

CMS teachers and other employees were a good portion of the people in attendance Saturday.

This comes as many get ready to head back to the classroom on Monday with their students.

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston addressed the ongoing partnership with Novant Health in a video.

“We’re excited about future opportunities to provide our student-facing staff with access to the vaccine,” Winston said.

Starting February 24, thousands of teachers, childcare workers, and other school staff in Group 3 will be able to get the vaccine too.

“[I’m] just happy that everybody in the system and everybody just in general is finally going to be able to have this happen and be able to have this opportunity,” Dries said.

“We feel privileged that we were able to come today, it was very organized. Took five minutes in and out. We feel good,” Buening said.

As a reminder, Group 3 includes eligible educators, school personnel, and child care workers who are able to get the vaccine starting February 24.

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