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Health & Medicine

More Peoria Public Schools Families Taking Advantage of Vaccine Clinics, But Hesitancy Persists

210513 COVID-19 vaccination.jpg
Joe Deacon
/
WCBU
A patient receives a COVID-19 vaccine injection at the Tazewell County Health Department clinic in Pekin.

UnityPoint Health and District 150 are offering more COVID vaccinations to students as the Pfizer vaccine becomes available to kids 12 and up. But many students are still hesitant about getting the vaccine.

UnityPoint Health and Peoria Public Schools District 150 are offering more COVID vaccinations to students as the Pfizer vaccine becomes available to kids 12 and up. But many students are still hesitant about getting the vaccine.

Mariola Kabat, family nurse practitioner at the in-school health clinic at Manual High School, says 128 students have been vaccinated since the beginning of this month. Of those, 16 have received their second dose and are considered fully vaccinated.

Kabat said while there are many families eager to take advantage of the in-school vaccination opportunity, a lot remain hesitant.

“One of the things I have found for the students we are currently vaccinating is that the majority of those families, the parents have already been vaccinated.” she said. “A lot of those students are coming in because they have been encouraged by their parents.”

Kabat said there are several different factors that go into an individual’s hesitancy to receiving a vaccine, including side effects, fear of a perceived lack of safety precautions taken in development, worries about getting COVID-19 from the vaccine, and overall misinformation.

She also said that a lot of the time, families aren't getting the vaccine simply because it isn’t required.

“There are a number of families who outside of the required vaccines, the ones that are currently required in order to attend public schools, they will consent to those, but anything outside of that they do not want their students to get," she said.

But Kabat said widespread vaccination is truly the way out of this pandemic.

“We know that masking helps, social distancing helps, but as we know some of that is being eased at this point. The virus is still out there,” she said. “The more people get vaccinated, the better it is and it will help get rid of this virus out of our lives.”

For more vaccine information, click here.

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