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Eligible District 150 Students Can Now Receive COVID-19 Vaccines At School Clinic

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Eligible District 150 high schoolers can get their COVID-19 vaccine at Manual, starting this week.

Students who are 16 or 17 need parental consent, while 18-year-olds can elect to roll up their sleeves for the shot on their own.

Stephanie Doss manages the in-school health programs at Manual, Trewyn, and Peoria High.

"What is the best way to offer this population the vaccine? It has to be right in their back door. We're right here on the stomping grounds, within this school district," Doss said. "So hopefully, the easier it is to access, the easier it is to provide this service."

The move comes as the Peoria City/County Health Department attributes the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases to younger people, who often infect other people within their households. COVID-related hospitalizations recently hit their highest levels since the health department began tracking numbers in March 2020.

"This is just a way for the younger population to protect some of the older population who may be more suspectible to the harsh side effects of COVID," Doss said. "So those who are in sports, or active in sports. Those students who live with immunocompromised parents. This is just another way that we can protect our community."

UnityPoint Health will host the Pfizer vaccine clinics from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday through the end of the school year. Students attending other Peoria high schools can receive permission to go to Manual for their shot.

Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is FDA-approved for usage in 16-and-17-year-olds.

Doss said parental consent forms are still coming in, so she isn't sure how many students may take advantage of the program. But she said she's hopeful for strong engagement.

"The more that is vaccinated, the better for our community. So if there are any teenage kids that you know of that need the vaccine, communicate and educate. This is new for them, as it is for most adults," she said.

We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WCBU will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WCBU can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.