Wheeler School Nurse Judy Diaz joined Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee and RI Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott yesterday to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. The weekly COVID-19 briefing was held as Rhode Island is experiencing a high rate of transmission and following the FDA’s recent full approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for people who are 16 and older.
“I have seen firsthand at the school the impact the vaccinations have had,” Diaz said. “Our students are able to get back to their life. To be able to participate in activities and events that not only impact their physical health, but their social and emotional health.”
“So the importance of the vaccinations is not for just those who are eligible, but for those who are not eligible yet,” she continued. “Please get vaccinated so our young students can stay safe and in school.”
Diaz, who spoke in both English and Spanish, said that her 12-year-old son has been vaccinated, as have many of his friends, and they are doing well. “And as soon as the vaccine is approved for my daughter, who is 10-years-old, she will also be vaccinated,” she said.
Governor McKee said it was an honor to have Diaz at the press conference because her voice as a nurse teacher is incredibly important. “School nurse teachers do so much for their communities, but they’ve gone above and beyond over the past 18 months. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are among the unsung heroes of the response, playing vital roles in schools across Rhode Island to ensure learning continues uninterrupted for our students,” McKee said. “We cannot thank Judy and her fellow school nurse teachers enough for all they’ve done to keep our communities safe and healthy. If any of our students, teachers, or school staff have not yet gotten their COVID-19 vaccinations, please reach out to your school nurses to get all of the information you need to feel ready, and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
You can read and hear more from Diaz, Governor McKee, and Dr. Alexander Scott at this WPRI news story.