Many Hillsborough County teachers relieved to get first vaccine dose

Brent Bowman and his wife Leah are teachers at Martinez Middle School. They were among those who used their teacher workday Monday to get their first round of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

"It is an extra insurance policy, feels good," said Brent.

Hillsborough County is using the Ed Radice and Vance Vogel Sports Complexes as vaccine sites for the newly expanded eligibility. 

MORE: Floridians 60 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting next week, DeSantis says

A federal mandate allows any school staff, from elementary through high school, to be eligible. That's more expansive than Governor DeSantis' previous order, which only allowed school staff ages 50 and up to get the vaccine.

Healthcare workers of any age, plus firefighters and law enforcement ages 50 and up are also eligible, per Governor DeSantis.

 "I wasn't terrified to teach but I do feel a little extra comfort level now that I'll be safer," said Cambridge Christian teacher Melissa Rawls.

LINK: COVID-19 vaccine distribution information in Tampa Bay area counties

The county is running its two sites through Friday, each offering 1,000 shots per day, by appointment only. 

"I know it's a real thing and people are worried about it. If we can take a step further and make it end for everybody I'm willing to do whatever," said Veronica Schaffner, a first-grade teacher at Northwest Elementary.

Floridians 60 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting next week, DeSantis says

Gov. Ron DeSantis says all Floridians age 60 and up will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine beginning next Monday.