Vaccine Voices: Oregon’s Teacher of the Year Nicole R. Butler-Hooton

Nicole R. Butler-Hooton, Oregon’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, is a second-grade teacher at Irving Elementary. Butler-Hooten’s story on Oregon’s Teacher of the Year webpage says that her “teaching style goes beyond instruction and serves to build lasting relationships with students and families.”

As a teacher and a Siletz and Apache tribal member, Butler-Hooton felt it was important to get the COVID-19 vaccine. She shared:

I got vaccinated against COVID-19 because I want to feel safe to be around my family members and friends. I want to feel safe returning to the classroom and teaching. The evidence has shown that it can help bring an end to the pandemic. In addition, Indigenous communities have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus, and I know I am more likely to have a negative outcome than many of my colleagues if I get sick. I believe the vaccine is safe.

The first vaccine I experienced a sore arm, lethargy, and a mild headache. I was back to normal within a few days. The second vaccine caused me to experience severe flu-like symptoms for two days following. I had a high fever, chills, headache, body aches, and nausea.

Nicole R. Butler Hooton after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

This article first appeared in the March 16, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.