ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Central Middle School’s gym in the Parkway School District turned into a vaccination site Monday. Parkway students 16 years of age and older were eligible to get their first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re really excited that we were able to make this happen, I think we’re the only or the first, one of the first school districts to be able to do this just for students,” Parkway Interim Health Services Director Katherine Park said after the event Monday.
204 students were vaccinated, but that is only about 5% of the eligible 3,915 students that could have received the vaccine at this event.
Park said the turnout was lower than anticipated because prior to the event, the district sent out a survey and about 350 parents said they were interested to get the vaccine for their students.
“That did seem a little low, however the state of Missouri did allow students age 16 and up to get the vaccine a couple weeks ago, so I have a feeling that many of the parents and students that were interested may have just jumped on that wagon right away,” Park said.
She said feedback from the event was very positive and the pharmacy complimented the district on how kind the students were.
“Students and parents were very grateful and supportive that we were able to host this pharmacy to come in for parkway,” Park said.
Some parents FOX 2/KPLR 11 spoke to Monday said they had already gotten their students the vaccine prior to the event.
Students under 18 years old needed a parents consent to get the vaccine.
Parkway partnered with the same pharmacy it partnered with during the staff vaccination event on April 15.
The district decided prior to the event that it would only run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., instead of until 5 p.m. because of the lower than anticipated turnout.
“I’m glad they hosted this, it gives people the opportunity,” Parkway North High School student Leandy Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez arrived at Central Middle School around 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon and found out the event was closed.
The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is scheduled for Monday, May 17. Mondays are virtual days for the district.
Park said some people have expressed concern about the second doze lining up with the week of finals for some students.
“The decision had to be made so quickly and it was guided by the pharmacy’s availability, that faced with having a clinic or not having a clinic, we were kind of at the mercy of just taking the dates that they offered us, subsequentially, I heard and many of us heard that that’s a busy week for high school students,” Park said.