Teens should be vaccinated before prom, graduation, Floyd Co. health officer says

Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 3:24 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In Indiana and Kentucky, all adults are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, so the focus has shifted to children.

Since it’s now prom and graduation season for high schoolers, Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris is pushing for those students to be vaccinated before they meet in large gatherings and potentially cause an outbreak.

“We’re going to start looking at schools, trying to encourage them to get the juniors and seniors vaccinated before prom and before graduation happens to lower the transmission of disease at those events,” Harris said. “So, that’s our initiative this week that’s just starting.”

Anyone 16 and older are eligible to register for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana and Kentucky. Anyone 18 and older can get Moderna’s or Johnson & Johnson’s shot.

Minors in both states will need a parent or guardian with them to receive each dose.

To make it easier on their students, the New Albany Floyd County School District began shaping a plan for school-based COVID vaccination clinics for their 16 and older students Tuesday. The district’s nursing supervisor Andrea Tanner said they just started planning, so no decisions have been finalized at this time.

In the past, Dr. Harris said they’ve organized in-school clinics or reserved vaccination appointments just for eligible teens. Overall, Tanner said they hope to remove any barriers that they can for students.

”We have some teens that are very excited about getting the vaccine,” Tanner said. “They’re very excited to play their part and helping to end this pandemic eventually. And we have plenty who are on the fence and plenty I’m sure that haven’t even given it a second thought. So, we want to make sure people are aware of it, families know how to access it for their students, and for those students who are interested they know how to advocate for themselves and getting the vaccine.”

Hoosiers wanting to register for a vaccine can register here. Kentuckians can register here.

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