Second round of school-based vaccination clinics kick off this week

Local News

BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WOWK) — Tuesday Cabell County Schools and the Cabell-Huntington Health Department teamed up for the second time to help get kids and their parents vaccinated before the holidays.

“Today we’re at Barboursville Middle for our school-based vaccination clinics, specifically for the 5-11 age group but we also have adult vaccine available today and the flu vaccine,” says Hannah Petracca, public information officer for Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

“I’m getting my COVID vaccine so my family stays safe and I can stay safe,” says Olivia Werthammer, a sixth-grader at Barboursville Middle School.

This is the second time the school district and the health department have offered this sort of school-based option and officials say there’s a good reason for it:

“It’s important to focus on the 5-11 age group because previously the only protection they had was wearing a mask and social distancing which is hard for this age group and then also relying on the adults in their life that were eligible to be vaccinated to get vaccinated,” Petracca says.

This is a concern that parents who came to this clinic say they share.

“As far as getting together with older family members, it is a little bit easier peace of mind as far as the contemplation of getting this for the kids a little bit of thought went into it just you know what’s better for them and the pros outweigh the cons for us so we decided to go through with it,” Patrick Wagoner, who brought his children to get vaccinated.

Parents at this school-based clinic say they appreciate that they can get their child vaccinated in a familiar setting.

“It’s great that they offer that for us here. It’s convenient, and it brings it right to us. You know, you’re not waiting in line or taking days off or whatever. We’re able to get in expediently and get it done,” says Will Frye, who brought his child to get vaccinated.

Administrators at the school say the effort to get more people vaccinated helps keep kids in school.

“When COVID hits, students miss school. They miss valuable instruction. This provides kids opportunities to maybe not have to quarantine, and stay at home, and keep them in school,” says Stephen Zeigler, assistant principal at Barboursville Middle School.

Additionally, health officials say it’s an extra layer of protection against the spread of variants, too.

“This is a really crucial part of ending the spread of variants while also decreasing the spread that we have right now,” Petracca says.

“While the Omicron variant is a concern, Delta remains the cause of 99 percent of current WV cases. Vaccination is still very important to stop the spread of COVID and protect against the emergence of variants. It is especially important for immunized everyone who is eligible and hasn’t been immunized, including the current, active drive to immunize children aged 5-11. It is also important for eligible adults to receive boosters to increase their ability to prevent infection. It is also important for individuals who have had COVID but not yet been immunized to get immunized as soon as they are eligible in order to reduce the risk of reinfection,” says Dr. Michael Kilkenny, M.D., M.S., CEO and health officer of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

“You’re trying to get coverage for what you can, and hopefully it does help,” Wagoner says.

The vaccination clinics are running for the rest of the week at Huntington East Middle School on Wednesday, Dec. 8th, and Huntington Middle School on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

For more information, check out the health department’s website here.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the FREE WOWK 13 News App

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories