School nurses receive COVID-19 vaccine as distribution widens

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 20:18:51-05

PARKER, Colo. — A group of school nurses from the Cherry Creek School District received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, as part of the state’s next phase of vaccine distribution.

“As soon as I got the call that I was going to get the vaccine today I started crying,” school nurse Jessica Puga said.

School nurses fall in the same category as teachers, in the Phase 1B of vaccine distribution announced by the Governor on Wednesday. Teachers, police and fire, government workers, and other essential employees will now be the next to received the vaccine as doses become available. Seniors over the age of 70 are also part of Phase 1B.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people in that category and we’re going to ensure every person over time is offered an opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Shauna Gulley, the Chief Clinical Officer for Centura Health, told Denver7.

Centura partnered with the Cherry Creek District to be able to send randomized ‘invitations’ to employees to receive their vaccine. The first group of nurses will be followed by teachers and other employees as more vaccines become available.

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“Getting the vaccine for our educators is that next step,” Cherry Creek Superintendent Scott Siegfried said. “It allows us to not talk about things like hybrid schedules in our future, but to have all kids back everyday though the rest of the year and certainly into next year.”

Cherry Creek is currently scheduled to bring younger students back for in person learning in 2021, while continuing a hybrid model for older students.

“I want my kids at my school to be learning in person. The roomette learning is tough on them tough on families,” school nurse Cara Rudolph said.

“It’s a step where we need to be so we can get back into school, get our kids in there and be all together and happy and healthy,” nurse Heather Hollins added.

For more information on Phase 1B and who is eligible to receive the vaccine, check out this explainer story.