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IW schools host vaccine clinics

Isle of Wight County Schools held in-school COVID-19 vaccine clinics for students ages 12 and up at five of its schools June 16-17.

There, over 200 of the division’s 5,000-plus students received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The first-dose clinic had taken place May 26 and 27 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded its emergency use authorization of the vaccine for the age group earlier that month.

Participating schools included Westside Elementary, Georgie D. Tyler Middle School, Windsor High School and a joint clinic for the adjoining Smithfield Middle and Smithfield High complex.

Pharmacists and technicians with Rite Aid administered the shots.

According to Lynn Briggs, spokeswoman for the school system, the only students vaccinated were those whose parents had signed consent forms. There was no cost to the families.

“We elected to do this to assist families who may not be able to make arrangements for their children to get vaccinated,” Briggs said.

Isle of Wight is now the first school division in the Western Tidewater Health District to have completed a second-dose in-school vaccine clinic for its students. Suffolk’s three public high schools held first-dose clinics for students 12 and up June 24. Southampton County Public Schools has yet to announce a first-dose clinic, but has just over 35 students signed up according to division officials. Franklin City Public Schools has not held any COVID-19 vaccine clinics for students ages 12 and up, nor is one scheduled at this time, according to that division’s superintendent, Dr. Tamara Sterling.

According to June 28 Virginia Department of Health data, 52.4% of Isle of Wight’s 37,000-plus residents had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 44.4% were fully vaccinated. When counting only Isle of Wight’s adult population, 62.8% had received at least one dose and 53.5% were fully vaccinated.