About 140 employees of the Seaford School District were able to get the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccination one recent Friday at a pop-up site set up by Walgreens at the Seaford Manor School.
Administrators, teachers, clerical workers, custodians, teachers’ aides and others got the one-dose inoculation, thanks to Noelle Bloom, a Seaford parent and a pharmacist at Walgreens who coordinated the event.
Early last month, the district sent a survey to employees to see who still needed vaccinations and set up appointments for everyone who expressed an interest. Then a team from Walgreens set up the site in the school’s backyard and vaccinated employees between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.
“I had made attempts prior to getting the vaccination, but there wasn’t really anything opening up close to me,” said Hope Morreale, 51, of Seaford, a teacher’s aide at Manor.
Morreale said that her anxiety was mounting because she didn’t know when she would be able to get inoculated, but then she heard about the district program. “The process could not have been easier,” she said. “I felt really blessed to get vaccinated right in the school district where I work — especially when I hear about how far some people have had to travel to get to their appointment.”
“It worked out great,” said Assistant Superintendent John Striffolino. “It was a one-shot deal, and people were very happy about it. Some of them were having such a hard time getting vaccination appointments, so everybody was very appreciative. I think [Bloom] really contributed a lot to the district.”
Striffolino added that he enjoyed seeing so many employees gathered in one place, which hasn’t been able to happen under social distancing requirements. “It was really great to see everybody,” he said.
Morreale said she experienced slight chills and a low fever the following day, but felt fine on Sunday, and was optimistic about the future.
“The first thing that came to mind was spending time with my mother-in-law,” she said. Ann Morreale, 84, of Kings Park, has underlying health conditions and has been isolated from her family throughout the pandemic. Hope said she looked forward to seeing Ann without having six feet of space between them.
She also said she was looking forward to seeing her 25-year-old nephew, Josh Heller, get married in Vermont in August.
“I just feel much more confident about traveling,” Morreale said. “I remember coming home the day I got the vaccine and just thinking that everything was going to get better. Change is coming, and we’re getting closer to beating this every day.”
Students have been back in class full time at Seaford Middle School and the district’s two elementary schools, Harbor and Manor. Seaford High School students have a full week of in-person instruction on alternating half-day schedules, but the district is currently developing a plan to bring them back full time.
“Everything was done one hurdle after another,” Striffolino said, “and we’re trying our best.”