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Lee Co. health officials administer educator’s second COVID vaccine doses

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KEOKUK (WGEM) - Officials from the Lee County Health Department said hundreds of educators are now on their way to being fully vaccinated after receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Friday.

The health department administered the doses in two clinic, one at Central Lee in the morning and the other in Keokuk in the afternoon.

Keokuk superintendent Christine Barnes said just under 200 teachers and staff were able to get their second doses

She said having two thirds of their staff on the way to being fully vaccinated is a weight of their shoulders.

"It's really a relief to know that people have a higher level of safety," she said.

Teachers said they agree.

"I will feel much more comfortable being here at school with the students and we just want to make sure everybody is safe," elementary teacher Diane Berner said.

But Berner said that's not the only reason she's excited.

"I haven't seen my mom in over a year, so in a couple of weeks I'm going to visit her so I'm excited about that," she said.

Over at Central Lee, just over 100 teachers and staff got their second shot.

Superintendent Andy Crozier said that's 70 percent of their staff.

He said that number will continue to go up as time goes on.

"We anticipate the total number of staff being vaccinated to be around 80 percent by the time the school year starts next year," he said.

Crozier said their COVID numbers are also right where they want them to be.

"Right now we're at zero cases for staff and students," he said. "We've only had a handful of cases since New Years so we've had a very good 2021."

Officials from the health department said falling COVID numbers and vaccinations are a formula for success.

"Now that they are vaccinated, they can serve their steps on moving forward to be normal again," community health program manager Emily Biddenstadt said.

Barnes said that's something they're looking forward to.

"We're getting ready for our state assessments and we're of course working on trying to make up some of the lost time that we have this year so hopefully we're going to finish the year on a very high note," she said.

Both Crozier and Barnes said they are keeping their mask requirements in place for now.

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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