On-site Covid vaccinations offered to teachers and students

A+Midtown+student+waits+to+get+the+Covid-19+vaccine+in+the+multi-purpose+room.+The+vaccine+clinic+will+reopen+on+Sept.+3+for+first+and+second+doses.

Stella Mackler

A Midtown student waits to get the Covid-19 vaccine in the multi-purpose room. The vaccine clinic will reopen on Sept. 3 for first and second doses.

In an effort to increase the school’s Covid vaccination rate, Midtown is offering free vaccinations for students, teachers, parents and staff. The clinic opened on Aug.13 and will reopen on Sept. 3 to provide the second dose.

“The clinic is voluntary and available to anyone who wants to get vaccinated,” school nurse Wanda Taylor said. “Any student can get vaccinated with their parent’s consent.”

Taylor helps manage the clinic and is in charge of monitoring students after they receive the vaccine to watch for side effects.

“First, the students checked in, and we tested them to make sure they were negative,” Taylor said. “They waited for the results to come back and then went to the station to get their vaccination. After they received their vaccine, we had them wait for some time before returning to class to make sure there were no negative side effects.”

Freshman Aniyah Dash received her first dose of the vaccine at the Midtown clinic.

“I wanted to wait until we were back in school to get it,” Dash said. “Now I’m ready, and I feel like everybody needs to be safe and just get the vaccine and get it over with.”

According to Dash, her close relationship with her mother played a big part in convincing her to get vaccinated.

“If I ever did get Covid, my mom wouldn’t be there with me in the hospital,” Dash said. “That broke her heart and mine; so, I decided to get the vaccine.”

Senior Violet* wanted to get vaccinated at school; however, her mother objects.

“My mom won’t let me get the vaccine because she thinks it’s going to have some sort of awful side effect,” Violet said.

Violet said when she found out that Covid-19 vaccines were going to be offered at Midtown, she considered filling out the consent form herself and getting the vaccine without her mother’s knowledge.

“I want to get it,” Violet said. “I even thought about trying to get it at school, but I didn’t end up doing anything.”

Violet hasn’t always been so interested in getting the vaccine. She used to share her mother’s views.

“When the Covid vaccine first came out, all I was hearing about it came from my mom; so, I was pretty against it,” Violet said. “Then I started to pay more attention to what all the doctors were saying, and I realized the vaccine was probably a good thing.”

Junior Lucy Adams is in a similar situation. She is unvaccinated, but not by choice. Like Violet, Adams’s mother will not allow her to get the vaccine.

“The way she explained it was that she wasn’t anti-vax;she just wanted to sit back and see what would happen,” Adams said. “I bring up getting the vaccine a lot, but her answer is always the same.”

Adams is particularly concerned about being unvaccinated because her grandmother is high-risk.

“My grandma’s immune system is compromised because she is on oxygen, and she had Covid already,” Adams said. “If there is a chance that me getting the vaccine means I can’t get her sick, then I will take it.”

Midtown’s bookkeeper, Alexandra Coffman, is a parent of a Midtown student, and she and her son are both vaccinated. She is excited Midtown is providing the community with Covid-19 vaccinations.

“I think it’s awesome,” Coffman said. “As an employee, of course, but also as a parent, I think it is wonderful.”

Coffman manages the clinic alongside Taylor and helps guide students through vaccination process.

“We had about ten students come to get vaccinated, and we also had a parent and grandparent that got vaccinated that day; so, that’s awesome,” Coffman said.

Coffman will staff the second clinic on Sept. 3 and expects a larger teacher turnout.

“We started on Friday after classes started; so, it was hard covering the teachers who wanted to come get the vaccine,” Coffman said. “In September, we will set up from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. for teachers to get vaccinated, and I think we will definitely have more teachers show up.”

The second clinic is timed to provide second doses to those who got their first on Aug. 13. However, it will also provide initial doses of the vaccine for anyone who has not been vaccinated. The only prerequisite is registering with Fulton County..

Dash is already thinking about getting her second dose and said she feels proud to say she is almost fully vaccinated.

“I think now was the right time for me, and I know I’m making the safe choice,” Dash said.

 

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