FILE - In this Thursday, March 11, 2021, file photo, a health worker loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being made available to residents at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. California officials say much of the state will be able to reopen next week to indoor activities as coronavirus case rates remain low. At the same time, more than 4 million residents with certain disabilities or health concerns become eligible for a vaccine. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Thousands of education workers lined up outside of the Smart Financial Center at Sugar Land Sunday to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m excited. I’m happy that at least we have this chance to get this vaccine,” said teacher Farha Ahmed.

This marks the first time those in the education field were included among the priority groups eligible for the vaccine.

“I’m kind of hesitant about it. Then I thought about it, and with me working around kids in the school district, I thought well I need to go take one,” said Denise Ball.

About 5,200 people were vaccinated Sunday, according to health officials with Memorial Hermann. Officials said they expect a similar amount of Houston-area educators will be vaccinated on Monday.

The state of Texas is also preparing for a big week. The state will expand vaccine eligibility starting Monday for Texans 50 years and older under the 1C phase.

“I’m glad things are moving along. People are being more encouraged to get vaccinated,” said Denise Salazar, who said she’s been trying to get vaccinated since January.

Salazar said she’s worried though about those who qualify under previous phases and have been unable to get vaccinated. Salazar, who is a medical assistant and suffers from Diabetes, said despite her health condition she has been unable to schedule an appointment.

“Everywhere we have signed up for, we haven’t heard anything back,” she said. “It’s been really hard.”