CCISD holds COVID-19 vaccine clinic at CCHS
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Independent School District offered a chance for students ages 16 and up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine clinic held in the old gymnasium at Copperas Cove High School on Tuesday afternoon.
Amy Hudson, CCISD’s Director of Health Services, said that around 90 students had signed up for the clinic.
“We’re just trying to do what we can to make it available for people and make it easier for them to get the vaccination if they want, and it’s the hope that everything can get closer to normalcy and get more kids back in school if more kids are vaccinated,” Hudson said.
The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has only recently included healthy high school age students, with the Centers for Disease Control announcing this week that everyone in the country aged 16 and up is now eligible.
The vaccine administered on Tuesday at the high school was the Pfizer vaccine.
Hudson said that she knows people are hesitant about vaccines and that they think it came out too fast.
“I want them to know that it’s safe,” Hudson said. “It’s based off the same technology that they’ve used for other vaccines.”
Students did need parental consent in order to be vaccinated, and the vaccines were all voluntary.
For senior Savannah Brown, 18, the vaccine was a decision both her parents encouraged her in getting. Brown said her father received the vaccine as a first responder and realized that “COVID’s not a joke” and wanted her to be protected as well.
Brown said her mother found out about the vaccine clinic online and was in favor of her getting the vaccine, especially because it is free to students and fits into the school day schedules.
“I think that’s actually the best thing this school’s ever done,” Brown said about the district offering the COVID vaccine to all CCISD students ages 16 and up.
“I really liked the RN that administered the COVID shot,” Brown added. “She was very nice. She explained everything that I might feel, and she definitely gave me a heads up of what may be to come if I was to start feeling ill.”
Marcy Moreno, a registered nurse at Williams/Ledger Elementary, was administering vaccines at the clinic.
“I’m really enjoying it and I’m very proud of our district that they’re allowing us to do this for the community and for our kids, and especially right now with this virus, it’s constantly changing and stuff so I’m glad that I’m able to just be part of history to administer this shot because that’s how it started back when we did the flu shot, back then and you would see and now I’m part of history and it’s really exciting,” Moreno said.
Moreno is a cancer patient and is currently awaiting for her oncologist’s approval before she can get vaccinated herself.
“Once he gives the OK, I’m going to do it,” Moreno said.
Moreno added that it is so important that others get vaccinated to build up the herd immunity necessary for people such as herself.
“I’m really proud of them because so far, I’ve only done about two or three, and they’re all scared of the shot but they’re here doing their part to help us, like myself where our immunity is low and help build that herd immunity in the community and in the nation,” Moreno said about the students.
She added that she was also proud of the parents who gave their permission for their students to be vaccinated.
Hailee Thompson, 17, is a junior who received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I just want life to get back to normal as soon as possible, because I’ve had to quarantine twice this year,” Thompson said. “I was quarantined like a whole month because people got COVID in my class, and then my parents got COVID, so it’s been a crazy year, and I’m just ready.”
Thompson said she was glad that the school district offered the opportunity.
“I think it’s really good because it gives us an opportunity to get vaccinated and hopefully not have to wear masks this next coming year, and then maybe students won’t have to be quarantined because at the high school especially, we’ve had the most cases,” Thompson said.
Thompson would encourage her fellow students to get vaccinated if they’re able to as a way “to get life back to normal,” she said. “We can’t keep living in fear forever and getting vaccinated is protecting yourself from getting sick because there’s people who are dying from this disease.”
Thompson said she was a little nervous getting the vaccine but still wanted to protect herself and said she felt the benefits outweighed the risks.