SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Independent School District teachers and staff members received Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday morning.
The clinic, STAAMP Allergy, administered 100 doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine, which received emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 27.
“With the Johnson and Johnson (vaccine), there’s 100% protection rate from death in the studies. So, nobody in those clinical trials, even when they got infected with severe COVID, died,” said Dr. Erika Gonzalez, with STAAMP Allergy. “And that is really what the point is -- right -- to save lives. And so the Johnson and Johnson is just as good as the other two vaccines.”
SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez said the district has nearly 8,000 employees. He hopes all staff members can get vaccinated.
“We have been able to get our at-risk teachers vaccinated, and we think we have almost all of them now on a path to get the vaccine, especially after today,” Martinez said.
Martinez said getting faculty and staff vaccinated is critical to keeping the virus under control at schools.
“We have not had any outbreaks in our schools, but we have cases, and the cases reflect the community. We’ve even had deaths within our SAISD family members, and it’s just very tragic,” Martinez said. “We are serving the most at-risk ZIP codes in the entire county. The death rate in our ZIP codes is five times higher than it is in the north.”
Last week, the Department of State Health Services announced that Texas teachers and school and child care staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
San Antonio ISD employees say they are thankful for the opportunity to get a vaccine.
“This is the right direction for teachers getting the vaccination, coaches getting the vaccination, just so we can be allowed to help out more kids, be around the kids and keep our safety in mind as well as,” said Adan Velazquez, a San Antonio ISD teacher.
“I think it’s great, you know, that they’re, you know, making a priority for, you know, people to get this vaccine to go back to work,” said Andre Eley, an employee of SAISD.