BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On January 19, Ohio started the vaccination process against COVID-19. The first fight was for those 80 and over. On Monday, Mahoning County took another step forward in the fight against the virus, this time in schools.
At Boardman High School, some students were getting vaccinated Monday.
“I’m really looking forward to things getting back to normal, especially before my senior year of high school, so I’m just really looking forward to maybe going to concerts again and doing stuff like that,” said Mia Hammerton, a Boardman junior.
Mia was one of 110 students at Boardman High school who registered for their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine — roughly 10% of those who are eligible.
“It’s a small percentage, but we’re glad and encouraged that some of the kids were willing to come forward and get a shot in their arms,” said Boardman Principal Cynthia Fernback.
All this week, similar vaccination sites will be repeated at school districts around the area as high school students get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Fernback says she pushed to get this done.
“I was kinda forceful in getting the clinic here. I asked my superintendent to hunt it down and make it happen, and I would hunt it down and make it happen again for them. I think whoever is willing to get a shot in their arms — it’s only good for our whole community really,” Fernback said.
Besides Boardman, staff from Mahoning County Public Health and Mercy Health were at Springfield Local Monday afternoon. They will be at seven other districts later this week.
Fernback says many of the students have been directly effected by Covid-19, and they overcame whatever hesitancy they may have had about getting a shot.
“It definitely played a role in me deciding to get it ’cause I don’t want to see that happen to anyone else, and you know, having that possibility that it was me, like my fault,” said Santino Angelilli, a Boardman senior.
“Actually, my family ended up having COVID, so after my parents had it, we all ended up getting the shot,” Mia said.
The county’s Health Commissioner Ryan Tekac admits even though response to vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, he says the goal is getting closer.
“As we start to work down into the younger age brackets, getting individuals vaccinated who are younger, it’s very important. That’s what’s going to get us closer to that herd immunity,” Tekac said.
In the meantime, Fernback hopes as word spreads about the vaccine being safe and effective, schools may be able to hold more clinics like this before the start of school this fall.