ATHOL, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- There was no school Monday in the Athol Royalston School District in Worcester County after staff members got their second COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend.
Many of them called out sick after experiencing some side effects from the shot.
The superintendent said 100 staff members got their second Pfizer shot on Saturday in a community vaccine clinic solely for school employees and at least 20 staff members called out sick early Sunday evening.
“Unfortunately, we had a side of teachers that were not feeling well from the vaccine,” Athol Royalston School District Superintendent Darcy Fernandes said.
No school on Monday for students and staff in the Athol Royalston School District in Worcester County after many school employees called out sick after getting their second COVID-19 vaccine.
“It could be a bus driver, a custodian, an admin assistant," Fernandes said.
Fernandes said 100 faculty members got their second Pfizer dose on Saturday in a community clinic solely for the school staff.
She said by Sunday night at 6 p.m. 20 employees had already called out for Monday saying they were experiencing side effects from the shot forcing the school district to close for the day.
“With COVID, it’s been more difficult for school districts to get subs. We have some people in quarantine so we’re already covering some classes because we have some people in quarantine so, it was a combination of things,” Fernandes said.
A similar story for school districts right over the border in Connecticut. Manchester Schools reported a shortage of teachers and bus drivers on Monday after a vaccine clinic for their staff was held over the weekend. It's unclear what dose was given to those employees.
Clinton Mathias, Associate Professor of Immunology and Pharmacology at Western New England University, said side effects from the vaccine are common.
“A lot of people have reported that with the second shot they’ve experienced chills and maybe a fever for two or three days,” Mathias explained.
He said any workplace vaccinating the bulk of their employees at once should be mindful of the potential impacts.
“If everybody goes in at the same time and if everyone is experiencing at the same time it can make it difficult,” Mathias said.
Fernandes said she hopes staff are able to return back to work Tuesday. The missed day today will be made up in June.