Students at Westerville North get vaccinated

Students+16%2B+became+eligible+for+the+COVID-19+vaccines+in+mid-April.+Source%3A+abcnews.com

Students 16+ became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines in mid-April. Source: abcnews.com

Kai Dages, Special Reporter

   The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine went out to students of Westerville North on Friday, April 9, and Monday, April 12 at Central High School in their auxiliary gym. Students in the district were bussed to Central, after turning in a form giving their consent to get vaccinated. 

   Before the end of spring break, emails were sent out to parents of students, giving them forms to sign if they wanted their child to get vaccinated against COVID-19. With a limited number of vaccines sent to the Westerville School District, it was first come, first served when turning in the COVID forms.

   On the day of vaccination, students were given a ticket stating the time at which their bus would leave to Central. When it was their time students would leave class and show their ticket to confirm that they were allowed to get the vaccine. They were then bussed to Central with a handful of other students. There, they waited in line to get vaccinated. After getting the vaccine, students waited for at least 15 minutes to see if there were any side effects, then bussed back to North, returning to class.

   “The district was given a thousand of them,” Principal Assistant Stephanie McGeorge said about vaccines. “And so each high school was given a third of them, but if we didn’t need all of ours. We could have offered a waitlist at Central or South.”

   Nationwide Children’s Hospital was the one to give the vaccines to the Westerville School District. It wasn’t just Westerville though, Nationwide Children’s Hospital gave out vaccines across Franklin County.

   For North, the school came close to using all of them for the vaccine drive to students. “I think we were just short of it,” McGeorge said.

   In a school of 1,500 students and around 300 vaccines being used, it would make the percentage of the vaccinated students at North around 18-20 percent.

   “Probably a little less than 20 percent,” athletic director Wes Elifritz said. “But we know we also have students that have chosen to get the vaccine on their own.”

   Scientists have said that to achieve herd immunity at least 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated against COVID. 

   With North going back fully into schools in March before the school offered vaccination for COVID, students like Amanda Murray and Ansley Enders, were glad to see that the school was offering vaccinations to students. Both were a little worried when going back fully into school. 

   “Masks help, but you still can’t 100 percent prevent the spread of COVID,” Enders said. 

   Murray agreed and expanded by saying, “After more people are vaccinated the spread will slow down.”

   More and more schools are getting their students vaccinated.

   The second and final dose of vaccines was given to students at North on Friday, April 30, and Monday, May 3.