FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE 3) – In between classes, about 120 students at New Albany Floyd County schools received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Floyd County Health Department set up clinics Thursday at Floyd Central High School and New Albany High School. The vaccine was offered to students 16 and older with parent permission.
Of the nearly 50 students vaccinated at Floyd Central, sophomore Caleb Washington said he already had the virus.
“I’m trying to prevent it from getting into my body again, I had it,” he said. “I lost smelling and taste... [looking forward] to taking off the mask and being able to actually hang around big groups of people without having to worry.”
Senior Evan Thomas said he tried for weeks to get an appointment on his own before the in-school vaccinations opened.
“It’s kind of hard to find it on your own, a lot of times it says it’s not available in the area, you just have to go somewhere, it’s kind of first come first serve, so it’s really nice to have it hear at school you don’t have to worry about it as much,” he said.
Thomas said he knows some of his classmates are still skeptical; he feels the in-school clinic may have helped students overcome hesitancy and convenience issues.
Floyd Central Principal Rob Willis told WAVE 3 he hopes more students will receive the vaccine outside of school.
The clinic at New Albany High School distributed nearly 70 doses Thursday. Principal Michelle Jenkins said she was confident events like graduation would be safer.
“They were hearing that their teachers had gotten it, their teachers were back in school,” she said. “The hope is they feel more comfortable, they feel safe.”
The students vaccinated Thursday received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and will receive a second dose in four weeks. Appointments were automatically scheduled at IU Southeast.
As younger students become eligible, Floyd County Health Department officials have previously expressed interest in hosting additional vaccine clinics for lower grade levels.
As of Thursday, about 2.3 million Hoosiers have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.