Hundreds of Hayes High School students have been vaccinated over the past week as the Delaware Public Health District has organized clinics for local high school students.
Hayes Principal Ric Stranges said cohort A high school students 16 years of age and older were given the opportunity Tuesday to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from health district staff in the gym. He added the number of vaccinated students at the high school now tops 200.
“(The vaccine clinic) was very efficient, very smooth,” Stranges said. “It makes you feel good to see our kids getting the vaccine.”
Stranges added he’s thankful the health district reached out to organize the clinic.
“The health district has been so easy to work with,” he said. “They’re welcoming and professional. They’re just amazing with our students. There’s anxiety and they deescalate that anxiety so well. For some students this is the first time they are getting a shot without their parents. Thank you (to the health district) for making it not only available, but to make it such a success as well.”
Stranges said he spoke with students as they were in line, and the vaccine has given students hope.
“Hope for all-in school. Hope for seeing grandparents again and gathering with friends again,” Stranges said. “That’s what it was. We want normalcy back. … This has been a success.”
The health district reported Tuesday that 442 high school students in Delaware County were vaccinated last week during in-school clinics, and 731 students are scheduled to be vaccinated by the end of next week.
Health Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson said the in-school vaccinations were decided upon after Gov. Mike DeWine opened up the vaccine to ages 16 and up.
“When the governor opened up COVID vaccination to age 16 and up, the health district and local school superintendents brainstormed ways to make sure that all students whose parents wanted them to be vaccinated would be able to without any barriers,” Hiddleson said. “In the past, back-to-school and flu immunizations have been provided during in-school clinics with success, so this was the chosen method.”
Hiddleson said it’s up to students and their parents to decided to get vaccinated, but the vaccination can be advantageous for students.
“Each parent/guardian needs to make this decision for their family based on the child’s health and the health of family members,” Hiddleson said. “Once fully vaccinated, unless the student is showing symptoms, they do not need to quarantine. This allows students to remain in school, which we know is critical for a child’s success.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.