Students receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through Red Lion Senior High School’s partnership with Rite Aid
By Kaitlyn Resline
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in many lives. As the virus showed no signs of stopping, the push for vaccination offered the only way to return to pre-pandemic life. With more and more adults getting vaccinated, the focus has now shifted to vaccinating teenagers.
On May 12, 2021, the Red Lion Area Senior High School held a vaccination clinic in partnership with Rite Aid. From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. students had the opportunity to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the Old Gym.
“I decided to get the COVID vaccine because, A, I am tired of wearing masks everywhere I go,” junior Connor Holmes said. “And B, I also think it is the first step to getting better as a society and moving forward from this pandemic.”
To register for the vaccine, the High School sent emails to parents to select an appointment time. On the day they received the vaccine, students checked in with their identification and proof of health insurance.
Mr. Donald Dimoff, the Marketing and Communication Director for the district, said the vaccinations were strictly voluntary, and that the district hoped to provide vaccinations to students who had not received the vaccine anywhere else.
“I am glad we could provide the kids an opportunity,” he said. “It was a good service to have.”
Approximately 40 students received vaccines and are scheduled to receive the second Pfizer dose on June 2, 2021.
Students had to wait 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine in case of side effects. Mrs. Sherri Taylor, the certified school nurse at the high school, discussed some of the side effects students should expect.
“The first dose is usually just a sore arm,” she said. “The second dose usually causes more reactions but reactions are good because they show the immune system is working and developing immunity. And the reactions go away.”
Both Mr. Dimoff and Mrs. Taylor stated that they have not heard of other districts in the county providing this opportunity to their students.
The school district has partnered with Rite Aid before to administer flu vaccines. Registered pharmacist Geena Modi administered the COVID-19 vaccines.
“We need to build the antibodies because you may carry the virus, you may not have symptoms, but you can still carry an active viable part of the virus,” Modi said. “It’s best to get the vaccine and have immunity not only to protect yourself but to protect others around you.”