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School nurse discusses vaccine as local districts work to protect employees

Supply chain issues are keeping some of those who qualify from getting the vaccine.

HOUSTON — The school nurse at Houston ISD's Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk has more than 25 years of experience dealing with all sorts of issues.

"The most common issue we deal with are stomach aches,” nurse Trudy Hilty said.

COVID-19 is a lot more serious and Hilty said protecting herself by getting the vaccine included second thoughts.

“I had second, third and fourth thoughts before I even went to get it,” Hilty said. "Once I got the vaccine, I’ll do it again in a heartbeat.”

Hilty credits HISD with arranging for school nurses and others who qualify to get the vaccine at two different locations.

RELATED: HISD nurses, first responders getting COVID vaccine, teachers still waiting

She went to the Houston Health Department’s vaccination site at the Bayou Events Center.

“I think all teachers, counselors, anyone employed by the district should have it," Hilty said. "And they should be among the first to have it.”

HISD said it’s looking into ways to make the vaccine available to other employee groups, including teachers, while health officials have informed districts of vaccine shipment delays and resulting appointment cancellations.

Partner hospitals in Clear Creek ISD are among those experiencing supply chain issues.

“While we would like to see school district employees who qualify for Phase 1B receive immediate access to the vaccine, we understand the challenges that exist,” the district said in a statement.

In Katy ISD, the superintendent said he’s offered sites and services for vaccine distribution if needed.

"The process is a little cumbersome," Hilty said. "But it’s not unworkable, it’s like anything else.”

Hilty believes the more people who receive the vaccine the closer we’ll get to normalcy both on and off campus.

"It’s just going to be a matter of time," Hilty said. "People still need to have patience and I know they’re tired of hearing that. But that’s just the way it is as the moment.”