Rockford high schools to host vaccine clinics for eligible students ahead of in-person return

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford schools are accommodating the portion of high school students now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone 16 years and older can get the shot. RPS 205 is working with the Winnebago County Health Department to offer vaccination clinics for students and their families.

“As we begin to bring more students back into the physical environment, we need to make sure we can protect as many individuals in that environment as possible,” said Winnebago County Health Director Dr. Sandra Martell.

The clinics come as the district prepares to welcome students back for full-time in-person instruction next Monday, the 19th.

“We know this most recent surge in cases is being driven by a younger population. So we as we kind of move forward and try to protect the community against the development of future variants, they are also a population that needs to be vaccinated,” explained Dr. Martell.

Dr. Martell says more than just teenagers looking to return to the classroom will benefit from the clinics.

“We know schools are familiar places not only for students but their families. They often serve as polling places, they’re trusted locations. And so I think that becomes a way not only to vaccinate students but also parents who haven’t had an opportunity yet,” she explained.

Students under the age of 18 will need consent from a parent or guardian to get their shot.

“If we are going to look for herd immunity, and being able to open up, and being able to enjoy our summer festivals, and large weddings and events, the concerts and the proms and the football games in the fall. we need individuals, everyone that can get vaccinated to really participate with the community and get vaccinated,” concluded Dr. Martell.

Clinics will be held at Auburn High School, Guilford High School, Jefferson High School, and RESA Middle School.

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