OUSD High School Students Use On-Site Vaccine Clinics at Oakland Schools, Encourage Classmates To Use Them

Oakland – COVID-19 is on the minds of just about everyone in Oakland Unified School District, including our high school students. And now, many of them are taking an important step to protect themselves, their families, and the larger community. They are signing up to get vaccinated at one of several vaccine clinics at schools across the District, most often at their own schools.

“I thought it was a really good idea, it was really convenient,” said Andwele Z., a junior at Skyline High School. “Because I was originally going to go to San Francisco to get vaccinated, but this made it so much easier.”

Students can make an appointment, which is recommended, but in most cases, they can just walk up to the clinic and get vaccinated, as long as they have written permission from a parent or guardian or can get them on the phone to give verbal permission. That’s what happened at Oakland Tech and Skyline High in their weekly vaccine clinic on Thursday, August 26. Dozens of students got their first vaccine shot, and a few received their second dose.

“I didn’t really get a shot before because I kind of stayed home and was on virtual learning,” said Lily C., a Skyline sophomore. “So, I decided to get my first shot because I wanted to return back to school and to make everyone around me safe, and myself safe. I got the shot just to ensure at least that I am not walking around not vaccinated.”

Some of the students getting their shots could be seen leaning away from the needle, bracing for the jab. “I thought it was going to hurt,” laughed Jatoine R., a Skyline junior. “But I was overreacting for no reason… Just get it because it’s simple and easy. It’s not like it’s hard.”

Of course, experts say that even with the vaccine you can still catch COVID, get sick, and infect other people, but research shows that it is less likely you will catch COVID, and if you do, you are more likely to have a mild case. “The vaccines are safe, as safe as the other childhood vaccines that we are already using,” said Deborah Williams, Skyline High School Nurse. “They’re effective. The Pfizer is fully approved. We need to do this as a school community now, especially in our more high risk zip codes, we have more morbidity, we have more mortality. We don’t know what the long term effects are (of COVID). We need to do this now!”

These students said there’s nothing to be afraid of, and that the time is now for all students who are at least 12 years old to get vaccinated. “At first I was scared, because I thought it was going to hurt. But it didn’t really hurt if you didn’t think about it,” said Fetima S., a Skyline sophomore. “Just get it over with. If you’re thinking about doing it, just do it… so, you don’t risk getting sick or like infecting other people.”

There are pop-up vaccine clinics coming this week and/or in the weeks that follow at Fremont High, Oakland High, Oakland International High, Oakland Technical High, Skyline High, and United For Success Academy. Also, clinics at Madison Park Academy, Rudsdale School, McClymonds High, the Youth Heart Clinic at MetWest High, La Escuelita and Dewey Academy, and Castlemont High are all in the works. For details on all the school-based vaccination events, and additional community-based vaccine clinics, please visit www.ousd.org/vaccine.

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