Watervliet School District holds COVID vaccine clinic

WATERVLIET – Thursday was a federal holiday, meaning K-12 kids don’t have to go to school. However, that wasn’t the case in Watervliet.

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The district kicked off an effort to get children vaccinated against coronavirus. A clinic was held at Watervliet High School.

Watervliet is one of the first schools to hold a vaccine clinic for students. School leaders say this vaccine clinic was made possible because of their partnership with Whitney Young Health.

The school has a contract with the health center, which brought the doses and took care of setting up the clinic inside the high school’s gym.

A steady stream of kids and parents came through during the six-hour vaccine clinic for kids ages 5 to 11.

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There were 300 doses available, with walk-ins accepted in the afternoon. Students from Green Island, Lansingburgh and Cohoes were also invited.

Some kids were nervous, but all were promised a prize or two after getting their shot.

Watervliet Superintendent Don Stevens is hoping this brings some normalcy back to the classroom. He says nothing has interrupted school more than quarantines. He hopes getting kids vaccinated means they won’t have their learning disrupted if they have contact with the virus.

Seventh grader Camdyn Cavanaugh is hoping getting vaccinated means getting back to the sport she loves. She hasn’t been able to do cheer for the basketball season because she’s unvaccinated.

"I’m excited that I’m able to get it at school, and I’m also happy because when I am able to get it done, like my first and second, I’m going to be able to still do the things that I like to do, whether it’s sports or after school clubs and activities," she said.

"It’s just constant interruption in their learning that we’re trying to minimize," said Stevens. "And by being vaccinated, hopefully they’re safe, and they can come to school and learn."

The superintendent and kids also say getting the vaccine was easier and more painless in school.

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Learn more about why, by watching the video of Stella Porter’s story.