JOHNSON CITY, Texas - The Johnson City Independent School District’s only nurse vaccinated 37 of the district's 118 employees on Monday.
Nurse Isela Raffety vaccinated elementary, middle, and high school employees inside the district's band hall. Raffety worked with Blanco County EMS, the county’s COVID-19 vaccine provider, to organize the event.
EMS Chief Ben Oakley says five district employees were vaccinated outside of Monday’s event, bringing the total number of district employees vaccinated by the county to 42. Still, Raffety says that number is not all-encompassing.
Some district employees have been vaccinated outside the county. Rafferty said, "I think it is important to help reach out to the rural areas... I know a lot of people have gone hours just to get the vaccine because they couldn’t get it in their own county. So doing this is helpful."
Raffety says her goal was to not only get district employees vaccinated but to reduce staffing challenges during municipal vaccination events. "We wanted to make it easier for [district employees.] It’s hard enough to try to find [substitute teachers] and have a whole bunch of staff out."
The vaccination event happened on the district's first day back from spring break. Superintendent Richard Kolek told FOX 7 Austin the district previously saw a spike in cases following winter break.
The event also took place approximately two weeks after the district removed its mask requirements. "I think that as we remove masks as people come back from spring break the added protection that we get from the vaccine is gonna be wonderful." said Johnson City ISD Chief Financial Officer Scott Berry, who says the timing of the event is "great."
Berry and his colleagues received the Moderna vaccination. They are slated to receive their second-dose in April.
Lynn Webb, Kolek’s secretary says this is "the first step" toward "being safe for my family and the school."