'I'm so excited': Wake County teachers, staff eager to receive COVID-19 vaccine at UNC-Rex hospital

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake County teachers and staff members are taking advantage of a special clinic for educators at UNC-Rex Healthcare.

Isabelle Hidalgo, an English as a second language teacher at Briarcliff Elementary School in Cary, says she feels safe heading back into a classroom receiving the vaccine.

"I'm so excited. I was really looking forward to this day because then I can protect my students, my staff at school and my two my children at home and everybody else," said Hidalgo.

UNC-Rex Healthcare received a shipment of Moderna doses and is planning to vaccinate about 800 people through the weekend

"We know that it's probably a drop in the bucket when you look at how large the school system is, [Wake is] one of the biggest school systems in the state -- Wake and Mecklenburg are the top two -- but we hope it helps," said UNC-REX Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Linda Butler.

Efforts are accelerating elsewhere. Another teacher vaccination clinic was held Friday in Nash County and the work continued at PNC Arena's mass vaccination site.

Thomas Ruffin, a first-grade teacher at Holly Springs Elementary School, was initially nervous to get the shot, but later proudly showed off his vaccination card.

"I feel great about it," said Ruffin. "I think I'm doing my part to stay healthy and try to keep everyone else healthy."

Vaccinations will take place at REX Hospital through Saturday.
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