Two Virginia health districts are turning high schools into clinics this week to vaccinate students 16 and older and their parents.
Alexia Lehman’s first time back inside Skyline High School since the pandemic was to get vaccinated. She turned 16 Saturday and is eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“I feel more comfortable in this environment because I’m here, I’ve been here, I know the people that’s here, so that’s why I decided I would go,” she said. “If it was at the hospital, I don’t think I would feel as comfortable as I do now.”
That trust factor is one of the biggest reasons the Virginia Department of Health is using school systems as vaccination clinics.
“They trust the school system, they know who’s sending that message to them, and I think trust is a big issue,” said Leea Shirley of the Virginia Department of Health, Lord Fairfax Health District.
Hillary Henry went with her daughter to get her vaccine at the school Wednesday. Had the clinic not been there, she said she likely wouldn’t have gotten a vaccine anytime soon.
“The fact that they held it here at Skyline was amazing,” she said.
It’ll likely be a while before Alexia returns to the school to learn again, but the trip there Wednesday gives her mother immeasurable piece of mind.
“It makes me feel better,” Angel Peacle said. “I don’t want no harm come her way, you know, and don’t know when this thing’s gonna leave.”
The Lord Fairfax Health District will soon hit every school in their district. The health district administered almost 1,000 doses at Skyline High School Wednesday and will return in three weeks to administer second doses.
The Rappahannock/Rapidan Health District is also hosting vaccination clinics at high schools.