Over 700 Dover public school employees got their first COVID-19 vaccination on Friday as efforts to vaccinate educators and reopen classrooms to students ramps up.

It was the first day vaccinations were available for teachers, school administrators and child care workers of any age in New Hampshire as part of President Joe Biden's push to get teachers across the country their first dose by the end of March. He promised to have most K-8 schools open for in-person instruction within the first 100 days of his administration.

The Dover and Salem public school districts set up special clinics for districts to administer the vaccine. In districts where clinics cannot be set up appointments can be made using the state's new scheduling system starting March 17.

In addition to the 600 employees of the Dover public school district all eligible staff working at private and charter schools in the city were offered the vaccine.

Members of the Dover Fire and Rescue working with the Strafford County Public Health Network put shots of the Moderna vaccine in the arms of every employee who wanted it from teachers to bus drivers to janitorial staff. They'll receive the second dose in April, according to Dover Fire Chief Paul Haas.

"We want to ensure all school workers have the opportunity to be vaccinated on the first day of their eligibility,” Haas said. “The vaccine effort at Dover High School was a huge endeavor. Kudos to the School District administration team for working with us to make this happen on such short notice."

A team from Dover public schools had the location of stations needed to pre-screen those arriving, check them in, administer the shot, and have a waiting area after the vaccine mapped out in 90 minutes on Tuesday.

Haas said that fire and rescue personnel have been administering shots since January to front-line workers, residents at elderly housing and other vulnerable populations.

As of Friday 137,963 New Hampshire residents, or 10% of the population, are fully vaccinated, according to the state dashboard.

The state of Maine offered dedicated vaccination clinics for school staff and teachers age 60 and older on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Eligible staff were notified by their respective districts. Proof of age and employment will be checked at registration.

Hannaford, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies are accepting appointment for teachers, school staff and child care workers of any age depending availability.

A Dover school district employee gets a COVID-19 shot
A Dover school district employee gets a COVID-19 shot (City of Dover)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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