Pittsylvania County Schools held an event giving preference to its elderly employees, including school bus drivers, to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. - File photo

Pittsylvania County Schools held an event giving preference to its elderly employees, including school bus drivers, to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

File photo

Approximately 250 employees, including school bus drivers, for Chatham, Virginia-based Pittsylvania County Schools received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, the Danville Register and Bee reports.

Steven Mayhew, the assistant superintendent for administration at Pittsylvania County Schools, told the news source that the district’s employees have expressed strong interest in getting vaccinated, as the district has been conducting in-person learning since Sept. 28. The district’s vaccination event on Wednesday, according to the Danville Register and Bee, gave preference to its elderly employees due to their higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Ronnie Pickral, a 71-year-old bus driver for one of Pittsylvania’s elementary schools, told the news source that he feels “more secure” and “more protected” now that he has received the vaccine. He also said that he thinks “it’s the right thing to do,” ensuring that he doesn’t take any chances in getting himself or his students sick. Ruby Barksdale, another school bus driver for the district, added that her decision to get vaccinated was in the interest of her personal health and safety as well as that of her community.

Despite some initial skepticism, 74-year-old bus driver Eddie Hardy, told the Danville Register and Bee that he was “excited” about receiving his COVID vaccine. He added that Pittsylvania County Schools is “taking every precaution possible” to limit its COVID cases, including sanitizing its buses twice a day — once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Hardy also said that he is hopeful more of his friends and colleagues will attempt to get the vaccine.

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