SCHERERVILLE — Donna Spivak has been a teacher for 37 years, and in a school year guided by the coronavirus pandemic, the longtime educator said she feels invisible.
Spivak, who is 58, told The Times she recently secured an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which she received after speaking to someone at the health department after explaining she is a teacher, and her husband is an elderly cancer survivor.
“I waited, I think it was almost a month, and then when I finally got there, they just said, ‘No, we’re not doing teachers.’ So they just turned me away,” said Spivak, a fifth grade teacher at Grimmer Middle School in Schererville.
“It was devastating. I feel like teachers are essential workers — we’ve been told that.”
Spivak later offered a message shared to her by a fellow educator: “It’s terrible that we are essential enough to have to get CPR training, active shooting training and mental health training to help kids, but not essential enough for the vaccine.”
When Indiana teachers may be considered an eligible group to receive a vaccine outside of the state’s current eligibility guidelines remains unknown.
According to a database compiled by The New York Times, teachers in states surrounding Indiana, including Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky, are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.