Chris Landis, a fifth-grade teacher at Colfax Elementary, was one of the first educators in Colorado to receive the vaccine on Monday.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Landis, who said his job has been stressful since teachers and students went back to in-person learning last month.
“Elementary kids don’t do a great job of understanding how far six feet is, so that’s been really scary, I think,” he said.
Denver Public Schools said it offered about 1,500 vaccination appointments to educators this week.
Colorado Education Association President Amie Baca-Oehlert says a small percentage of educators received the first round of vaccinations Monday, but she expects the numbers to increase throughout the coming weeks. She expects the nearly 100,000 educators across the state to be vaccinated evenly over that three-week period.
"I think there’s a lot of excitement, but also a lot of anxious energy. There are still a lot of people who don’t know when they’ll be getting their appointments, so they’re waiting patiently to see if they’ll get that text message or phone call," said Baca-Oehlert.
Gov. Jared Polis announced at the end of January that Colorado would be expanding people 65+ and Pre-K-12 teachers starting Monday, saying at the time the state had vaccinated about 50% of people age 70 and up, with the goal of vaccinating 70% of that group by the end of February.
For more information on the latest vaccine distribution schedule and more information on how to get vaccinated if you are in the eligible groups, click here.