Students at William Byrd HS vaccinated for COVID-19 in school

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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) – The sign in front of William Byrd High School reads: “learn today, lead tomorrow.”

Students at the school are leading off the newest COVID-19 vaccine initiative from the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts – bringing shots right to local schools.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to provide parents the chance to get students vaccinated,” said Roanoke Co. Public Schools spokesperson Chuck Lionberger.

With extra Pfizer doses on hand, the health district contacted William Byrd administrators on Thursday.

In just a matter of hours, Friday’s clinic was planned, announced, and slots were filled by students 16 and up – with parent permission.

“We had 60 signups before the end of school yesterday, so what that tells me is the students heard the announcement, called or texted their parents, and asked them to sign up.  I think that says a lot about our students wanting to be vaccinated,” said Rhonda Stegall, RCPS’s executive director of administration.

From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Friday, nearly 100 registered students came by the school’s auxiliary gym for a quick prick. That’s about 20% of Byrd’s juniors and seniors.

The Health District aims to hold more of these clinics at high schools across the region.

Health District Director Dr. Cynthia Morrow said in a statement: “these partnerships are a great opportunity for increased access to vaccine, so that students can be better protected ahead of spring milestone events such as graduation.”

Roanoke County Public Schools plans to hold a similar clinic at Northside on Wednesday. Details for that clinic are still limited.

The health district has not yet announced when schools in other school divisions will be able to hold similar vaccination events.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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