School Closes After Staff Has Negative Reactions To Boosters

( Last Monday, the Saginaw Township Community Schools in Michigan were forced to close, not because of weather or a COVID outbreak, but because several staff members had adverse reactions to their COVID-19 booster shots.

The school district posted a notice on the homepage of its website saying that, due to being short-staffed, the schools would be closed on November 8, and all after-school programs and available childcare would be canceled. However, the school board meeting for Monday evening was still scheduled to take place.

It is unclear how many members of the staff were affected, however. The school district only said that the adverse reactions occurred among “a large number” of its staff who received their booster shots at a “voluntary clinic over the weekend.”

Booster shots were approved by the FDA last month, and the CDC recommended that all adults initially vaccinated with the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines receive a booster shot.

According to the CDC, the most common side-effects of the vaccine booster shots are pain at the injection site, fatigue, muscle soreness, headache, fever, chills, and nausea.

Recent data from the CDC shows that among 12,500 people who received a third dose of the vaccine, 79 percent reported local reactions such as pain and itching at the injection site. Seventy-four percent reported also having systemic reactions like muscle pain and fatigue.

Complicating matters for the Saginaw Township Community Schools is the current shortage of substitute teachers and staff throughout the state of Michigan.

Republican State Senator Dale Zorn last week introduced legislation he hopes will alleviate the substitute shortage in Michigan.

Under the current law, school retirees may come back and work in a critical shortage area without it affecting their retirement benefits, but only if they have been retired for at least 12 months. Zorn’s legislation looks to cut that wait-time down to get retired teachers back in the classrooms more quickly. Under his legislation, the required twelve months would be reduced to two months without impacting the retiree’s benefits.