Marquette Area Public Schools staff receive COVID-19 vaccines at UPHS-Marquette

209 MAPS employees were vaccinated on January 18.
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 4:05 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Monday morning, staff from Marquette Area Public Schools received COVID-19 vaccinations at UP Health System-Marquette. 209 MAPS employees were vaccinated.

One of those teachers is Cynthia DePetro. She says she made the decision to get the coronavirus vaccine to keep herself healthy this semester.

“I spend the majority of my day with kids who are not necessarily practicing safety, just because teenagers don’t tend to do that, and I’m considered in the high-risk group,” said DePetro. “I just want to make sure that I’m safe.”

MAPS paraprofessional Colleen Gaffney believes having staff vaccinated will keep the number of COVID cases at the schools down.

“We are with kind of a large body of people in each school every day,” Gaffney said. “This is going to eliminate staff and students getting ill or spreading it.”

For MAPS midnight custodian Rod Short and science teacher Stephen Atwood, the clinic was about protecting others, especially Marquette students.

“I think it’s a lot safer for my family, friends, and coworkers, and even the kids at school,” said Short. “The more people that get it, the less opportunity to get COVID-19.”

“I want to go to school every day and make sure that everybody’s safe emotionally, but also physically,” Atwood said. “Doing my part will help meet that end.”

MAPS superintendent Bill Saunders says administrators are working with UPHS-Marquette to schedule another vaccination clinic for more staff members.

According to UPHS-Marquette CEO Gar Atchinson, vaccines are still coming in slowly. He says approximately 60,000 doses are available to health departments in Michigan each week. Nearly 300,000 were requested last week.

Atchinson encourages the public to be patient as health departments work through each phase of vaccinations.

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