New Jersey educators get vaccinated for COVID: 'Definitely a sense of relief'

MOORESTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Some teachers and administrators in Moorestown, New Jersey received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday evening.

"Definitely a sense of relief," said Andrew Ehala, one of the Mount Holly Township School District teachers who got vaccinated at the Rite Aid on West Main Street.

Like mostly everyone else, teachers and administrators had been living on edge, fearful of contracting the dreaded virus that has taken so many lives. So when Rite Aid reached out to the district offering the vaccine, many rushed to sign up.

"I was definitely excited that I was able to get an appointment, but there was a little bit of fear that kicks in because I'm scared of shots," said Nina Masu, a seventh-grade science teacher. "But definitely a big sigh of relief. I feel safer going to work."

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Schools in the Mount Holly District have been operating on a hybrid schedule since November with students in classrooms only two days a week.

"I'm super excited for the entire staff," said Janet DiFollo, president of the Board of Education.

"A big thing that was stolen from students and teachers for the coronavirus is just that energy that only exists when kids and teachers are together in a building learning and working together," said Amie Dougherty, director of curriculum and instruction.

The district hopes the vaccines will provide teachers and administrators more confidence to remain in the classroom and accept more students back to school.

"This is just another layer of defense and I think we're just relieved that there's hope and there's finally light at the end of the tunnel," said Andrew Ehala, a special education teacher.

More teachers within the district are set to get vaccinated in the coming days.
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