DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) — Students crowding into Dunlap High School’s library not for books, but for vaccines Thursday morning.
“Today is actually one of the many in-school COVID vaccine clinics that are being done through Peoria County,” said Monica Hendrickson, public administrator at the Peoria City/County Health Department.
It’s a partnership between schools, the Peoria City/County Health Department, and OSF HealthCare in an effort to vaccinate young people. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one approved for 16 and 17 year-olds.
“We’re really excited for the partnership, [and] excited to actually get these kids vaccinated so they can hopefully have a normal school year next year,” said Sarah Overton, chief nursing officer at OSF Multi-Specialty Services.
Overton said now that there are plenty of vaccines, it made sense to bring them to the students. She said they hope to vaccinate between 130 and 150 students.
“We thought we should mobilize [and] try to capture our youth before they leave for summer,” she said.
Students said it’s super convenient to get inoculated at school.
“I’m fortunate I don’t have to go through the hassle when I can just come right here, right next to my classroom, ” said sophomore Brant Adreon.
“It’s really convenient and helpful and it kind of gives me that sense of maybe things are going to get back to normal soon, with school and just life in general” said sophomore Elizabeth McDonald.
Hendrickson said the only way to get back to normal is by getting everyone vaccinated.
“Getting into schools and getting kids vaccinated is key, and so really we’re hoping to get as many kids as possible. Ideally, I would love to have every 16 and older eligible Peorian to be vaccinated,” she said.
Overton said it’s important to meet people where they are.
“Convenience is the biggest factor anyone who’s willing to get vaccinated we’re willing to come forward and partner with them,” Overton said.