Math teacher Leslie Stipe receives the coronavirus vaccine at Edward-Elmhurst Hospital through University of Illinois at Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Stipe)
Math teacher Leslie Stipe receives the coronavirus vaccine at Edward-Elmhurst Hospital through University of Illinois at Chicago.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Stipe

Students and staff receive COVID-19 vaccinations

February 18, 2021

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines beginning over the past month, many members of the York community and DuPage county have been vaccinated against the virus. Many have already received the first dose of the vaccine, and are slated to receive their second dose soon.

“The first time it was really simple,” senior and Park Place employee, Emily Brownlie said. “I filled out a quick form, went in and it probably took five minutes total for the whole process. They asked if I had any questions, wiped down my arm and then gave me the vaccine.”

While more students will be eligible for vaccines in the upcoming year, a few have been able to receive the vaccine for various reasons. People involved with the elderly or healthcare may have been able to receive one or both doses of the vaccines.

I work as a dining server at an elderly care facility,” Park Place employee and senior, Jaime Gleason said. “Because we interact frequently with a high-risk population, all employees (and residents) were offered both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. I’m really happy about this! By getting vaccinated, we can begin to slowly ease back to normal, hopefully.”

As the rollout of the vaccine begins to pick up the pace, both students and York staff are hopeful that the vaccine will allow for normal education going forward. 

“I think, ultimately, the goal is to get our kids back into school full time,” Principal Dr. Shahe Bagdasarian said. “I feel optimistic that the vaccine rollout is really going to help things along. And I’ve had parents ask are we coming back to school this year full time […] and I think that’s going to be a decision that’s based on the numbers. But I am optimistic that by next year we are back in school full time.”

Several Elmhurst residents have expressed concern over the safety of the vaccine. However, those who have received it emphasize the overall benefits of obtaining the vaccine for our community.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t want to take the vaccine or are hesitant about it, which is fine, but, in the long run, it is going to benefit people if they get the vaccine,” Park Place employee and senior, Mallori Hecker said. “I think it’s important to ask questions about it, and I think it’s okay to be hesitant, because it is new, and it is kind of scary. But, I think for the benefit of everyone that it’s important that people get it.”

It has been almost a year since school has been closed and lockdown phases began. Communities like Elmhurst have adapted to challenges of COVID-19 and have come a long way in a short period of time. 

“I do believe that the vaccine, while it is not 100% effective, will give us a sense of normalcy, [and] we will be less stressed,” Stipe said. “ And you know, I keep watching the news, and when they ask these people who get their vaccines, and they say I get to hug my grandkids.”

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