MILWAUKEE - Thousands of Wisconsin educators are getting the COVID-19 vaccine every day.
On Thursday, March 4, FOX6 News got a firsthand look at the process -- following one Milwaukee Public Schools teacher as she got the long-awaited shot.
The big question still remains: Will teachers be back in the classroom soon? That is still up in the air.
After nearly a year, Thursday was a turning point. It is the first step for Janice Pugh to get back inside her MPS classroom.
"In case we go back to school, I want to protect myself," Pugh said.
The second-grade teacher at Neeskara Elementary near Hawley and Galena hasn't seen her students in person all year. When she heard teachers were eligible for the vaccine, she didn't hesitate to register.
"I miss the connection with the students, the physical connection, the high fives, the hugs, 'you’re doing good,' 'I’m proud of you,'" said Pugh.
Aside from missing students, Pugh is also missing friends. For Pugh, the shot is personal.
"It was a no-brainer because I knew at least 10 people who died of COVID-19," Pugh said.
She waited at the Wisconsin Center downtown on Thursday with some anxiety, but more optimism.
"I think about the people who passed on and how if they were here they would be the first in line to get a shot," said Pugh.
Pugh checked in, was screened and prepped. She then entered the final station to receive the Pfizer vaccine. It was done in a pinch. Pugh felt relief -- and pride -- in setting an example just like a good teacher would.
"Try to be safe, so we can get our schools back running properly," Pugh said.
Pugh has to come back to the Wisconsin Center in three weeks to get the second vaccine doses.
She hopes sharing her story will put some minds at ease if they are on the finds about being vaccinated.