Onsite COVID-19 vaccination clinics set at high schools

Students 16 and older now qualify

Posted

Vaccination clinics are coming to schools in Washington County.

Just as Three Rivers Public Health Department hosts flu shot clinics, the health department will be bringing the vaccinations to Blair, Fort Calhoun and Arlington for students 16 and older, said Terra Uhing, executive director at Three Rivers Public Health Department.

"This was an opportunity where we know that a lot of people can't make it to the other clinics because of the times they are in school or working, so we are bringing it to them," she said. "At first, it was going to be 18 and older because we only had access to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. We were able to get Pfizer, which is for 16 and older."

The schools provided a link to parents to register their students. The parents and students will then receive a scheduling link after they register for the vaccinations, which will happen in late April or early May.

Uhing said it is something that has been done already at two schools for 18 and older.

"It's just one more thing to make it as easy as we can on individuals," she said. "We know it's hard to find a spot when parents are working, so we can do it at school when they're already there. Parents still have to give consent."

Uhing said Washington County has not reached herd immunity. The population of 16 and up is at 34 percent fully vaccinated with both vaccines.

"We need to get that much higher. If kids can see it's one more way to give us immunity and protect the older individuals like grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, or those with underlying health conditions, that is how this would work and how it would be beneficial," she said.

Uhing suspects that in the next few months the age would potentially lower to 12.

"We thought if we could go get those who want to be vaccinated as easily as possible that would be one more thing that we can do to be helpful," she said.

Uhing said there's yet another reason to get vaccinated.

"If you're fully immunized, meaning two weeks out from both vaccinations, you no longer have to quarantine even if you live with someone who contracts COVID-19," she said. "You just need to self-monitor for symptoms."

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