OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – With the recent availability for young people– now starting as early as 12 years old– to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the New River Health Association on Oak Hill High School’s campus is helping to take the lead in getting these young people vaccinated.
“This is our second clinic,” says Angela Barker, chief medical officer for New River Health Association. “We started with the 15 to 19-year-olds, and then when the CDC and FDA said it was safe for 12 and up, we decided to hold another round.”
All students need to do to get a shot in their arm is to provide a signed consent form from a legal guardian, and they will be well on their way to being a part of the nearly 130 million Americans who have already been vaccinated.
“We monitor every student for 15-minutes after the shot because that’s the most likely time to have a reaction, but if they start feeling sick we will monitor them for 30-minutes and treat whatever symptoms they have,” she says.
It is estimated by the West Virginia Department of Education that there is a total of 78,000 students ages 12 to 15 who are eligible to receive the vaccine, and now just one more segment of the population who is helping to contribute to overall immunity against COVID-19.
“Kids don’t suffer as severely as adults do, but they do carry it and transmit it, so if we can get more and more people vaccinated then we can have school normal, and get rid of masks, and go back to normal,” Barker says.