Nearly 1400 Fox Valley school employees were vaccinated Saturday in large-scale effort to combat Covid-19

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – The largest Covid-19 vaccine clinic to be held in Outagamie County administered hundreds of vaccines to school staff from the Fox Valley.

Saturday it was in and out for those stopping by the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton for their vaccination.

“It makes me feel comfortable in the classroom with my students so I can be at my peak performance, and put that, you know, aside and be there for the kids,” Chip Noffke with the Appleton Area School District said.

People began arriving at 8:45 a.m. Saturday with a schedule set by clinic organizers for vaccinating 77 people every 15 minutes.

“I’m a teacher, so it’s going to be nicer to be able to be with students and not be quite as anxious about giving them an education,” Greg Austin, who works at the Appleton Area School District, said.

There were staff from several public and private schools who showed up for a vaccine. The list included Menasha, Appleton, Seymour, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Schools, and at least 18 parochial schools.

Streets surrounding the exhibition center were littered with signs pointing to the direction of the vaccine clinic. Parking spots were also marked and reserved for those receiving a shot in the arm.

Vaccinators on Saturday used Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, the first time it’s been given in Appleton, according to Appleton Public Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht. Unlike the other two Food and Drug Administration approved covid vaccines, Johnson and Johnson is a single dose and does not require cold storage.

“It is a lot easier for us to draw up and be ready to go, and obviously makes the clinic flow go smoother,” Eggebrecht, who also serves as the incident commander for the Fox Cities COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic, said.

Vaccinations were by appointment only and walk-ins were not allowed. Eggebrecht expected between 1300 to 1400 people to make their way though the exhibition center.

Those leaving the clinic felt reassured. Still, health experts said it takes the Johnson and Johnson vaccine two weeks to fully protect those who receive the dose.

“It was very quick, I felt the needle go in…but it was very small,” Deb Totzke, a teacher at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Schools, said. “It was very minute. It didn’t hurt at all.”

Stephanie Freville of Appleton Area schools was ready for this day to come and encouraged everyone to get immunized for the novel coronavirus once their turn in line comes up.

“It was almost emotional but it was awesome. I’m glad I did it. I’m protecting my community and my students and I’d do it again,” Freville said.

Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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