The Boone County Health Dept. will offer three COVID-19 vaccination clinics for eligible high school students as part of a statewide effort to inoculate more young residents.
The clinics, which will administer the Pfizer vaccine, will be held May 1 at Lebanon Senior High School and May 22 and June 12 at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds. Lisa Younts, the BCHD’s director of nursing and vital records, said the locations are near Lebanon’s Witham Health Services, the county’s primary hospital, which is storing Pfizer vaccine doses that will be used at the clinics. The clinics will be open to all Boone County students 16 and older.
It is recommended that first and second doses of the two-dose vaccine be administered at least 21 days apart. The clinics are scheduled in three-week increments to allow students to easily schedule dates for second-dose appointments.
Younts said the Indiana State Dept. of Health has encouraged local health departments to offer special vaccination clinics to eligible students before the school year ends.
“The Indiana (State) Dept. of Health has reached out to all the local health departments to see if we could get as many of the 16- and 17-year-olds vaccinated as possible,” Younts said. “They want to get them while they are still in school, kind of setting up these (clinics) so that they have one place to go. We can get them all done before school is done.”
Information about the Pfizer vaccine in an intake form is being distributed to all eligible Boone County students, Younts said. Guardians are encouraged to fill out the intake form before the clinics. The clinics will use the intake forms to register students. The state’s registration system can’t register only one segment of the population, Younts said, so the department will upload information from the forms to the state’s registration system after the clinics.
Guardians must provide a birth certificate at the clinics before a student can be vaccinated, Younts said.
“It is more difficult (scheduling vaccinations) with the younger ages,” Younts said. “We are seeing a lot of vaccine hesitancy, especially in the wave of (the) Johnson & Johnson (vaccine) being paused. It’s not anymore, but still with that happening, people who are on the fence, it detours them from getting vaccinated, so we are just trying to get the message out there that the vaccines are safe and get the data out there to everyone so that they can make the decision whether to get vaccinated.”