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MHS students, families to receive first Pfizer dose Wednesday

MORGANTOWN — Roughly 300 students, plus family members, will queue up Wednesday at Morgantown High School for their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

With this school year winding down, call the noontime clinic a shot in the arm for normalcy next year, Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico said.

“We have to get our kids vaccinated,” said the administrator, who helped organize the clinic and those that will commence Thursday at University High School and Clay-Battelle.

“This is the only way we’re going to be able to fully get back to football and prom and graduation the way they used to be,” she continued.

The district announced earlier this month it would provide the Pfizer doses to students 16 and older. It is the only vaccine in the U.S. approved for that age range.

The maker said the dosage is also safe and effective for the 12- to 15-year-old population — even though the paperwork for that rollout has yet to clear.

For now, more than 200 students and family have registered at University High School for vaccinations there Thursday.

Shots will also go into 23 arms at Clay-Battelle’s clinic, which will be that same afternoon.

As with Morgantown High, family members of UHS and Clay-Battelle students are also being offered the vaccine.

Talerico said a number of students and their families have already received vaccines elsewhere across Morgantown and the county.

The idea, she said, is to keep offering the vaccine to students as it becomes available.

At MHS, she said, people can register right up until Wednesday’s clinic at noon.

People can call the school at 304-291-9260, she said.

MHS junior Liam O’Connor, meanwhile, won’t be among those rolling up their sleeves at the school.

The 17-year-old is still “thinking about it,” he said. “But I’m also considering some of the long-term health effects. I want to wait until there’s more information.”

In the meantime, O’Connor said, it didn’t take long for his school to adapt itself into “relative” normal for the spring term.

“The people who don’t want to be here, aren’t here,” he said.

Across the district, there are 113 students and 10 staffers who aren’t in school because they can’t be — that’s how many are on quarantine after last week’s two positive diagnoses of two students and two staffers down the line.

Every dose administered, as Talerico said, is one more notch toward herd immunity.

Which means one more notch toward normalcy, she said.

“That’s what we want. We want a school year, and a school experience, as normal as we can make it.”

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