[UPDATED] A Pasadena Teacher’s Experience With COVID-19 Vaccine

Editor’s note: If you received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pasadena Public Health Department, you will receive an email from the department when it’s time to register for your second dose.

a record card with patient information

Vaccination record card (Photo – author)

One week before the K-2 returns to in-person learning at the private school where I teach, I felt my anxiety rising. Then I received an email on Tuesday, January 19, 2020 at 9:05 am that the Fair Oaks Women’s Health Center in Pasadena received 100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

By Laura Hackett

The criteria was as follows: they could provide the vaccine ONLY to established patients who meet one of the following criteria (based on State of California Phase 1A and 1B COVID Vaccination Guidelines:

  • Phase 1A: Persons at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term care settings. This population also includes persons at direct risk of exposure in their non-clinical roles, such as environmental services, patient transport, or interpreters. (Proof of job was required).
  • Phase 1B Tier One: People ages 75 years and over; or people at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: education staff, childcare services, emergency services, and food and agriculture.

I was eligible for the vaccine as a teacher. I replied during recess at 9:30 am that I was interested. By 10:45 am the Fair Oak’s Women Health Center had received 150 inquiries. I figured that I did not respond to the email in time and I vowed to act quicker the next time an opportunity arose. However, much to my delight I received a call at 4:48 pm that a vaccine was available. All I needed to do was fill out a COVID-19 screening form and a consent form. I needed to bring either a teacher I.D. or my pay stub to verify that I was a teacher. I was nervous to get the vaccine yet more nervous not to get it.

a woman with a mask on and a sticker on her shirt

Laura Hackett’s selfie after vaccination (Photo – author)

The process was easy. I was to arrive at 1:30 pm. and text the word: Arrived to the number provided. They texted back right away that they were ready for me. I provided my paperwork and was allowed to enter the office. I checked in and I was taken right away. I barely felt the injection. The nurse practitioner observed me for 15 minutes afterwards. Then, I was given my sticker and my vaccination card. I took the “obligatory” picture for social media.

I am not guaranteed by the same provider that they will administer the second dose to me, however, I was assured that mini clinics should be popping up and that I can log on to the LA County Website to sign up for the second dose. I should aim to get the next dose in 28 days.

I have been asked how teachers are able to get vaccinated when L A County is not yet vaccinating teachers. This is because Pasadena has its own health department. Overall, I am feeling a bit tired on the night of the vaccination, but I am in good spirits. My anxiety about the return of K-2 at my school is reduced. After speaking to other teachers in my field, I find that many of us will feel a lot better about the return of students for in-person learning after we are vaccinated.


It came to the attention of the writer that since she had the first dose from her healthcare provider that she will not be able to get the second dose from L.A. County. She is hopeful that her health care provider will receive the second dose. Fair Oaks Women’s Health Center has agreed to offer the second dose to all of the hundred people who received the first dose if and when it receives it.

2 comments to “[UPDATED] A Pasadena Teacher’s Experience With COVID-19 Vaccine”
  1. Yes, I am concerned bc LA county won’t vaccinate me now on my second dose bc I had my first dose from a different provider. And Pasadena won’t vaccinate me bc I am in the unincorporated part of Pasadena. I was never guaranteed the second dose by my provider and it was a risk I was willing to take. At, this point I am hoping my provider will get the second dose. He is aware of the situation and will give us the second dose if and when he gets it.

  2. I, too, was able to get my first dose since “education” was initially included under tier 1 of phase 1B. But Pasadena has since removed “education” from tier 1. Are you considered about receiving your second dose because of this change? Or considered that a second dose won’t be available because Pasadena is giving out all the doses and not holding back any because they believe more will become available?

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