Cheshire health district holds vaccination clinic for high school students

CHESHIRE — Last week, it was students’ turn to fight back against COVID-19.

Chesprocott Health District held a vaccination clinic at the Cheshire High School West Gym for students 16 years of age and over, as well as their parents. The students received the Pfizer vaccine, which will require a second dose after 21 days.

Pfizer is the only one of the three vaccines currently available to the general public that has been approved for use on children 16 and older.

“We had a really fantastic turnout. We even had the Girl Scouts come and deliver some cookies,” said Maura Esposito, Chesprocott’s director of public health, at the April 28 clinic.  “I am so happy these students are here and we are getting them vaccinated rather than having to quarantine them.”

In the past few weeks, cases among students in Cheshire have increased. The positive tests were in large part traced back to a variety of spring break gatherings and Esposito believes that relaxed attitudes regarding social distancing and mask wearing has also contributed to the uptick.

That’s why she is adamant that students get vaccinated in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

“We have about 180 students registered. We had such an influx of students who wanted to sign up that we had to extend the hours we held the clinic,” Esposito said. “Since some students are under 18, we asked for their parents to be here or to have a guardian present while we administer the vaccine.”

The clinic ran from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and was held in the lower level West Gym near the auditorium. According to Esposito, the clinic operated under a “senior center model” for getting individuals in and out in a timely fashion. 

“These students didn’t have to register beforehand. We are registering them and getting them in our system when they get here,” Esposito said. “It’s a bit calmer and slower moving, but we are still getting everyone through pretty quickly.”

One junior was excited to finally get vaccinated. 

“It feels really good to be able to get a vaccine and be a part of the fight to finally end this thing,” said Brenna Gillotti. “Some of my friends have already received the shot, so I am glad to finally be getting mine.”

Gillotti’s family is on the road to being fully vaccinated, with her mother and sister already inoculated. 

“We are very happy we can try to put this thing to rest,” said Jean Gillotti, Brenna’s mother. “I am fully vaccinated and now my daughters are vaccinated and it really does feel great.”

Chesprocott held another clinic at Wolcott High School on April 30.

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