‘I felt emotional’ -NY teacher gets COVID shot

“So I am here to get my first vaccine…”

New York City teacher Sari Rosenberg hasn't seen her students in person in nearly a year, but with her first COVID vaccine shot, she is one step closer to some measure of normalcy.

“It’s the first step, you know, it’s not going to be right away, but the first step to getting back to seeing family and teaching my students in a classroom.”

Rosenberg, who teaches high school history in Manhattan, on Tuesday morning was among the first teachers in the nation to get the first of a two-shot vaccine, just days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made teachers eligible.

But the lack of a federal blueprint for mass inoculation means across the country, many teachers, including those in neighboring New Jersey, still don't qualify.

“When I signed up and it went through, and I got the confirmation email, I was sitting over there on my couch, and I started crying. I've been hopeful that we would get through this at some point, but this felt like a really concrete moment of that there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

In New York City, some in-person education has returned in the public school system, but Rosenberg is still concerned that inoculations alone won’t be enough to make classrooms safe.

“I couldn't live with myself knowing that I was asymptomatic and passed it on to my students, who then brought it home to their families.”

Scientists say more data is needed before we know whether individuals who have been vaccinated can still spread the virus.

Until then, health officials have urged the public to stick with mask-wearing and social distancing even after getting the vaccine.

Still, Rosenberg is looking forward to the day when millions of fellow teachers across the nation have all had their shots.

“I just can't wait until all the teachers are vaccinated, and all the school staff and personnel are vaccinated, we can go back safely teach our kids.”

Video Transcript

SARI ROSENBERG: So I am here to get my first vaccine.

- New York City teacher Sari Rosenberg hasn't seen her students in person in nearly a year. But with her first COVID vaccine shot, she is one step closer to some measure of normalcy.

SARI ROSENBERG: You know, it's the first step. It's not going to be right away, but it's the first step to getting back to seeing family and teaching my students in a classroom.

- Rosenberg, who teaches high school history in Manhattan, on Tuesday morning was among the first teachers in the nation to get the first of a two-shot vaccine, just days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made teachers eligible.

SARI ROSENBERG: I'm making history.

- Yay. It's probably going to hurt. I'm going to--

- No, you're not-- relax. It's not going to hurt. You're just going to feel a little pinch.

- But the lack of a federal blueprint for mass inoculation means across the country, many teachers, including those in neighboring New Jersey, still don't qualify.

SARI ROSENBERG: Well, I signed up, and it went through, and I got the confirmation email. I was sitting over there on my couch, and I started crying. I've been hopeful that we would get through this at some point. But this felt like a really concrete moment of there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

- In New York City, some in-person education has returned in the public school system. But Rosenberg is still concerned that inoculations alone won't be enough to make classrooms safe.

SARI ROSENBERG: I couldn't live with myself knowing that I was asymptomatic and passed it on to my students, who then brought it home to their families.

- Scientists say more data is needed before we know whether individuals who have been vaccinated can still spread the virus. Until then, health officials have urged the public to stick with mask-wearing and social distancing, even after getting the vaccine.

Still, Rosenberg is looking forward to the day when millions of fellow teachers across the nation have all had their shots.

SARI ROSENBERG: I just can't wait until all the teachers are vaccinated, all the school staff and personnel are vaccinated-- we can go back, safely teach our kids.