GREENSBORO, N.C. — Health departments are now teaming up with local school districts to get young people vaccinated. Guilford County Schools transported students age 16 and up to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Greensboro's Four Seasons Town Centre mass vaccination site.
Around 40 students from Page High School were among the first set to get their vaccines through this initiative.
"The CDC and the department of health say the more people that we get vaccinated, the more students, the safer it will be for all of us and I think that's an important piece from all of us," said Erik Naglee, principal, Page High School.
The announcement was sent to parents and families by GCS Superintendent Sharon Contreras, PhD, on Friday, April 30.
"To help make your lives just a little bit easier during this hectic time, we are pleased to offer a special COVID-19 vaccination opportunity for eligible GCS high school students. Participation is voluntary," Contreras wrote.
The student's parent or legal guardian must sign a field trip and vaccine permission forms for them to get the free transportation and vaccine.
The superintendent emphasized that the vaccine is voluntary, but that "vaccinating our older students holds great promise for helping control transmission in our schools and our community."
For the second Pfizer vaccination about 21 days later, GCS says the follow-up appointment will be scheduled by the school to make sure transportation is available.
The letter adds, "If you plan to access the Four Seasons Town Centre vaccination site on your own, your child's first vaccination must be scheduled and received by Monday, May 10. After May 10, the Four Seasons site will only administer second doses. The Four Seasons Town Centre site will operate through May 27. Guilford County Public Health, Cone Health, Walgreens and other providers will continue to offer vaccinations after May 27, however."
Students will again be bused back to the site in 18 days for their second dose shots.
Also, Cone Health will host a mobile vaccine clinic at Eastern Guilford High School this Friday, May 7. Staff, students 16 and up and the public can get vaccinated there from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
"This is very important for us to all get vaccinated and if anybody has any questions about whether they are comfortable with vaccinating their child, they can certainly talk with the medical professionals or talk with a pharmacist, with their medical provider or their physician," said DeAnne Brooks, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Cone Health.
You can register online or call 336-890-1188. Students under 18 would need a signed vaccine permission slip from a parent or legal guardian.
Officials are hoping to get as many eligible students vaccinated before the summer break. They are also anticipating FDA approval to start vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds in the coming week.