About 850 employees of local schools received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Feb. 26, at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Employees from Maryville City Schools, Alcoa City Schools, Greenback School, Clayton-Bradley Academy and Maryville Christian School were able to schedule appointments at the hospital for Friday under Phase 1b of the state’s vaccine deployment.

Blount County Schools employees who signed up in advance may receive a vaccine today, Feb. 27, at East Tennessee Medical Group.

Maryville City Schools Assistant Director Amy Vagnier, in an email to Cory Everett, Blount Memorial Physicians Group director and hospital assistant administrator, said the vaccine clinic process was outstanding.

“I hope you noticed the positive buzz in the hallways and shot clinic,” she wrote in an email she shared with The Daily Times. “I could feel the relief paired with optimism from our employees. Our teachers and staff members are grateful to have received such caring service and to have received their first COVID-19 vaccine from Blount Memorial … and that includes me!”

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