ROANOKE, Va. – Local health leaders are expanding their reach with COVID-19 vaccinations.
On Friday, almost 100 students at William Byrd high school got their first dose.
Health leaders across the region say this is likely going to become more common over the next couple of weeks, so students can be fully vaccinated by the end of the school year.
“We had a really quick turnaround because the health department called us yesterday morning and said we have this batch of vaccine and we wanted to see if we could deliver that at William Bryd,” Executive Director of Administration Rhonda Stegall said.
Students 16 and up could get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine with permission from their parents.
“We’re going to see the impact or kids are going to stay in school longer, and so that’s great news,” Stegall said.
Not only will it help students say in the classroom longer and lessen the chance of exposure, but COVID-19 vaccinations could also likely prevent transmission of the virus through contact sports.
“We have some sports, some athletes who participate, and they want to make sure they’re not quarantined, so if they can get vaccinated and after that two-week wait period after the secondaries they will no longer have to quarantine,” Stegall said.
It was important to the division to make the clinic happen so students would have a chance to get their second dose.
“We wanted to really try to do our best to do the clinic now so that there was enough time to have the second clinic. Before school wraps up at the end of May,” Director of Community Relations Chuck Lionberger said.
Roanoke County Public Schools says this is a big step to returning to the classroom five days a week later this year.
“We’re so thankful that we’re able to do things like this and that the health department is right there with us and helping us to just take one more step towards returning to normal next year,” Lionberger said.
The school division will host a similar clinic Wednesday at Northside High School.