Taylor professors have begun receiving the vaccination for COVID-19, and hope animates their refreshed outlooks.
On March 3, Indiana governor Eric Holcomb announced that all educators in Indiana can begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
Before this announcement, individuals aged 50 and older were only eligible to be vaccinated. The Biden administration is providing additional doses to participating pharmacies in order to prioritize teachers receiving the vaccine.
Along with the program, grocery stores Kroger and Meijer have added teachers to their official list of people eligible to be vaccinated, according to their websites.
As the restriction was lifted, Taylor professors did not delay in signing up to receive their doses.
Kevin Johnson, chair of the history, global and political studies department, received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine on March 2, in Hartford City at the Elk Lodge. He is scheduled to receive his second dose on March 30.
Abby Kuzma, Halbrook chair of government at Taylor, received her vaccination earlier on Feb. 17, due to her eligibility. She received her vaccination at the Raphael Clinic in Indianapolis and received her second dose on March 17.
Both Johnson and Kuzma had similar encounters when receiving their vaccinations: an experience characterized by hopefulness.
“I was on a reserve list, so my wife received a call about 30 minutes before we had to be there,” Johnson said. “The experience was great ... I would say that the feeling we had was one of elation, as we had been praying for this day since March of last year! The only discomfort I experienced was a little soreness in my arm. That dissipated in a couple of days.”
Kuzma did not experience any negative physical reactions to the vaccine.
Jeff Cramer, associate professor of computer science and engineering, planned to receive his first dose of the vaccine on March 15.
“The only way we’re going to return to some sense of normalcy is by getting the virus under control,” Cramer said. “The vaccine provides a way for us to safely return to being physically together without distancing and wearing masks. A day I’m looking forward to. The sense of relief at receiving the vaccine is overwhelming to me. I can’t wait to get back to spending quality time with my family and friends, particularly my parents and in-laws. … It comes with such a huge sense of relief.”
Johnson and Kuzma echoed the same sentiment. As more professors receive their vaccinations, a palpable sense of freedom is apparent.
Kuzma plans to continue wearing her mask as a means of protecting those around her. But she looks forward to feeling comfortable going to public places and meeting with her family.
Johnson looks forward to experiencing a new normal and is impressed by Indiana’s vaccine distribution.
“Our 7-day positivity rate has been steadily going down for several weeks now, and I can see the continued distribution of the various vaccines playing a positive role in eventually getting things back to some kind of normal,” Johnson said.
After a year of waiting, it is evident that Taylor professors are eager to receive their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.