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Vaccine offers educators hope and relief

Kaiser Permanente is now offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments for up to 37,500 educators each week statewide. Pictured, Daniel Jing, left, a UC Berkeley teaching assistant, gets his COVID-19 shot at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Joel Schow has had enough of coaching his high school women’s volleyball team over Zoom.

Daniel Jing is looking forward to leading in-person classes at UC Berkeley again where he is an electrical engineering teaching assistant.

And Enakshi Vyas is ready to once again hear the happy sounds of children performing tap, jazz and Bollywood dance during her free lessons at area schools.

The 3 recently visited the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco where Kaiser Permanente and 4 other health care organizations are vaccinating all eligible populations including educators and support staff as part of a U.S. Health and Human Services directive.

Enakshi Vyas, a dance teacher from Larkspur California, at left, gets vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

In California, Kaiser Permanente recently committed to vaccinating 37,500 educators statewide each week at its clinics and the 2 vaccination hubs at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and Cal Poly in Pomona, said Tom Hanenburg, senior vice president, Hospital System Operations for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. At the Moscone Center alone, 14,214 educators were vaccinated in the first week.

“This is a big step forward in getting teachers and support staff ready to work with students in person and the reopening of our schools, which is so important for everyone in the community,” said Hanenburg.

With an increase in vaccine supply, Kaiser Permanente is now offering vaccines to members and non-members who live or work in long-term care, those 65 and older, and people who work in education, childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services. For more information, visit www.kp.org/covidvacine.

Joel Schow, a San Francisco high school women’s volleyball coach, waits for his COVID-19 vaccine at the Moscone Center in San Francisco

“I will be so happy to be able to teach in-person dance lessons soon,” said Vyas, whose Dance with Ena offers free lessons to elementary school kids and others. “I didn’t know I would be this relieved after getting the shot. We’re not meant to stay home all the time. Everyone’s mental health has been affected by this pandemic. And I’m just really excited to be able to see my family without freaking out.”

Schow, a stage 3 lymphoma cancer survivor who coaches women’s volleyball at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory school in San Francisco, is happy to connect with his team again.

“It’s been tough not to see my team in person,” said Schow. “It’s been tough for the seniors especially. As a volleyball coach, there’s only so much you can do over Zoom. I’m probably even more excited that my over-65 parents got vaccinated.”

Jing, who lives with 3 other UC Berkeley teaching assistants, said he has not been too worried about getting sick and dying from COVID-19 because he is young and healthy. But now that he is vaccinated, he said he will feel more secure about teaching in person this coming fall in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He also hopes to visit his parents in Minnesota soon without worrying that he will put them in danger. 

Jing sees getting vaccinated as a civic duty.

“Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and social distancing are what we should all be striving for,” said Jing. “If we all do our part, we should all be able to go back to normal someday soon.

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