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Children getting vaccinated before back-to-school rush

Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 3:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A COVID-19 vaccine effort in Montgomery is hoping to combat Alabama’s low vaccination rate, the spread of the Delta variant and protect youth before they go back-to-school.

“People are not taking it serious,” said Lessie Simpson, a facilitator of the Alabama-Florida Episcopal District drive-thru clinic - which was in partnership with Parks Pharmacy.

Around halfway through the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. clinic, Simpson said approximately 25 vaccinations had been administered.

“It hasn’t been what we want it to be,” she said. “Half has been first time vaccinations, and the others have been second vaccinations.”

While the organizer was hoping for a larger turnout, she said the vaccines provided were still vital – especially for children returning to in-person learning.

“When our children come, they’re coming from various households, with multiple siblings, all spread out through the community,” Simpson said.

Everyone 12-years-old and older is eligible for a shot.

“Our very first vaccination this morning was for a 12-year-old who will be going to Bellingrath when school starts this year,” Simpson said.

Recent numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health show around 7.7% of Alabamians are positive for COVID-19, the highest percentage since February 2021. This is equal to the percent of people with the virus on April 3, when vaccines were not readily available, according to ADPH.

With more people infected, 14-year-old Camryn Dillard visited the clinic and received a shot. She returns to school in August. The student said her friends have also been receiving the vaccine.

“I decided to get the vaccine to be safe and make sure my body is healthy,” she said. “I know me personally; I’m not really going to wear my mask. I’m not going to wear it all day. So, I’m going to feel better knowing I have the vaccine.”

As a church body and “family of faith,” Simpson said it was crucial to host the vaccination effort.

“It’s important that we approach this from a holistic perspective,” she said. “It is so very, very important that we do all we can to not only make sure people are evangelized but make sure they are educated.”

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