Western Kentucky School Districts Consider On-Site COVID-19 Vaccinations For Students
Western Kentucky school districts are grappling with how to vaccinate their students and safely reopen for the new academic year in August with vaccinations available for some students.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization this month for use in the 12-15 age category. This makes nearly all middle and high school aged students in the United States eligible for the shot. Some school districts in the region are taking advantage of the expanded eligibility by offering on-site vaccinations for students.
Hopkins County Schools Communications and Community Engagement Specialist Lori Harrison told WKMS nurses in district schools are currently administering vaccinations to students. She said permission forms went home with all eligible students, and staff began providing first doses of the Pfizer shot Tuesday.
“We have a three-week summer school in June. Our school nurses will be there during that time so they will be able to get their follow-up vaccine through that,” Harrison said.
The Paducah Independent school district is in the process of gauging interest in an on-site vaccination program. Public Information Officer Wayne Walden said a survey went out to families in the district to see how many students would take advantage of a vaccine clinic in one of the district’s campuses.
“In a nutshell, Wild Health is willing and able to bring a vaccination event to our schools to provide the Pfizer vaccine to students 12 and older,” Walden said.
PISD Director of Pupil Personnel Troy Brock 49% of survey respondents said “yes” to receiving the vaccine on-site with an additional 16% responding “maybe.” Brock said the numbers are large enough to warrant organizing the clinic with Wild Health.
The Murray Independent school district is not currently planning to offer on-site shots, but Public Information Officer Sherry Purdom said the district will connect students with vaccination opportunities in the community.