Vaccinated Heritage Teachers Discuss Their Side Effects and Journey to In Person Teaching Again


Amy Sibley, A teacher at Heritage High School, got her second dose of the Pfyzer vaccine before returning to in person instruction.

Risa BenZion-Dunams, Staff writer

During the Covid 19 pandemic the Heritage staff is getting loaded up with vaccines. The vaccine is administered by one or two shots. This is very important right now, because of the pandemic we are all in. A lot of teachers at Heritage got vaccines, and right now is a good time since hybrid learning is happening.


Are teachers getting sick?


10th grade English teacher Lauren DiSalvo described the symptoms she was feeling after the doses. “I only had pain in my arm after the first dose, and after the second dose I had pain in my arm, a high fever which was 101. I also had chills, and I felt tired for 24 hours.” This was typical for most people to feel fine after the first dose, but then experience side effects after the second dose. DiSalvo mentioned, “I feel safer 100%, but you can still get Covid. The vaccine has made me feel 100% safer.” DiSalvo had her two doses of the Moderna vaccine on January 14th, and later on February 11th.

Holly Horton 9th grade history teacher suffered stronger symptoms. She also received the Moderna vaccine, but actually had Covid in December. Horton said,  “it took me three weeks to recover. My Covid turned into pneumonia, which is what happens to people who are in the hospital and on oxygen.” Horton has one of her friends, who luckily  is an emergency room doctor, and was able to ask for advice. “Once my oxygen levels started to drop I had to get in touch with my regular doctor. My regular doctor identified it as pneumonia, because of how I was starting to have heavy breathing.” Horton was able to recover from pneumonia with the help of antibiotics and got her first Moderna shot on January 22. “My body did not react well to it, I was not feeling well for three days. I had chills, body aches, I thought something was stabbing me in my chest, I was nauseous.” She was told that  her body responded it in that way, because it was so close to when she was originally infected. It felt like she was sick with Covid again.  Her symptoms and discomfort lasted three days. Horton also mentioned that she feels comfortable now that she has the vaccine.

She is, however, concerned with Covid mutating. “I do not have a large amount of students at any one time during my classes in person so that makes me feel safer.”The most she has during any class period is 5 students. “I have an air purifier in my room now, and I keep it near me. I think that provides a little more mental safety.”

“I am worried about the hall, and having the class changes,” Horton said.  “I really think that is something to be concerned about, also with the students staying six feet apart from each other and on the right side of the hallway.” “I don’t know if there’s anything that’s going to give me 100% peace of mind, because I got sick with Covid at home and I was quarantining.”  She feels like as long as everyone is masking up, washing their hands, and are still in small amounts of people she feels okay. “I am really ready to get back to normal, whatever normal is. It’s hard to teach and not be able to see my students.”

Like many teachers, Horton emphasized her main reason for teaching is being able to interact with her students.  She wants to be able to see them, so  not seeing them makes it hard.  Ms. Horton  misses interaction. Covid really takes that away and makes everyone feel isolated.

Lindsay Herndon, a Latin teacher, also got the Moderna vaccine. Herndon said “after the first dose, which was on January 25th, my arm was sore, but after my second dose on February 6th my arm was sore, felt tired, I slept 13-14 hours, had bad headaches, and a small fever.” “I am glad to have the vaccine as an extra security measure. I feel safer, and that it keeps me from getting it.” Herndon said. She didn’t have it that badly as other people which is good. Everyone is trying to get through this time with Covid and the vaccines are helping everyone feel safer.