As everyone learns about Covid, teenagers in classrooms are starting to get vaccinated.
They are the second group eligible for the shots in Ohio schools, after teachers and staff.
“They just want to be able to move beyond this, do what we need to do, and be able to get back home to some semblance of normalcy,” Oakwood City School District nurse Mary Barnett said.
She leads her district’s nursing team. Ann Curry does the same for Beavercreek City Schools, working as the nurse coordinator.
The two nurses both said, in their districts about 90 percent of teachers and staff have already gotten their shots. Now, they are hoping students who are old enough do the same.
“One of the advantages of that at the high school level, since 16 and older is eligible, is that the students that receive the vaccine at that level are less likely to spread Covid-19 to their younger siblings who are not vaccinated,” Curry said.
Barnett said having vaccinated students will increase school safety.
“The biggest thing is we have students and staff that can’t get the vaccine because of medical reasons,” Barnett said. “This will not only provide safety for our students and staff that have been vaccinated, but for those that aren’t able to get the vaccine.”
The two nurses are prepared to deal with students who experience side effects.
“It’s important to remember that when a student is having some symptoms after the vaccine, they’re not communicable, they’re not going to spread a viral illness,” Curry said.
However, she and Barnett are ready to send students home if necessary.
“I have confidence that high school nurses can definitely handle that. They’ve handled going back to school during Covid and done a great job, so I’m sure they can handle this as well,” Curry said.
Beavercreek City Schools has about 2,000 students who meet the age requirement to get vaccinated. Oakwood City Schools has about 500 who are eligible.