NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Some MNPS teachers are not waiting around to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
They're traveling out of Davidson County to some of the state's more rural counties. News4 spoke with Thom Campbell, who anxiously waited to get the vaccine.
"I signed up for the waiting list in 14 different counties," Campbell said.
Campbell is a social studies teacher at J.T. Moore Middle School in Nashville. He's going back to the classroom in a matter of weeks, which has put him on edge.
With Davidson County not vaccinating teachers yet, he looked out of the county.
"I'm willing to drive back to my home state of Wisconsin, wherever I could get it before we head back," Campbell said.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Students with Metro Nashville Public Schools will start making the long-awaited return to the classroom today.
Then he got a call from Macon County.
"It was a good hour and twenty minutes. About 70 miles," Campbell said.
He called the process simple only needing to show his driver's license and school ID.
"As soon as the needle went in my arm, there was a sense of relief more than anything else," Campbell said.
News4 got a look at a state map that shows where teachers can get the vaccine now. Some counties are currently in phase 1b.
"I left my apartment at 5:20 in the morning and was there at 6:45. I was the fourth person in line," Jennifer Tresnan, another MNPS teacher, said.
The Tennessee Department of Health has updated its COVID-19 vaccination plan.
Tresnan's vaccine search took her to Putnam County. She's a special education teacher at Oliver Middle School.
"I wanted to be able to know that I can spend more of my time worrying about what my students are learning and how to keep them safe rather than worrying about my own safety," Tresnan said.
News4 took these stories to the Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chair. Dr. Alex Jahangir said teachers are a priority but cautioned against moving too fast.
"Some places in other states have rolled too quickly into a phase, don't have the supply, and have to roll back to a previous phase. That, I think, is not what we want to do here," Dr. Jahangir said.
For Campbell and Tresnan, it's all about safety.
"Now that I've got the vaccine, I'm definitely less anxious than I was before," Campbell said.
It's a mindset he's taking with him as he prepares to teach in-person again at a job he loves.
The Tennessee Department of Health issued a statement to News4 on Friday: