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Mon middle schoolers to receive first COVID vaccine

Monongalia County’s middle school students will roll up their sleeves for the COVID vaccine beginning Wednesday, May 19.

The first round of Pfizer shots are being administered to that 12-to-15-year age group, from 12:30-2:45 p.m., at Suncrest Middle School.

South Middle students will receive their shots from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday.

Students at Mountaineer Middle will close out Friday with their shots in a clinic running from 8-11 a.m., to be followed by a round of vaccines from 1-2:30 p.m. at Westwood Middle.

“It’s one more notch toward normalcy,” Deputy Schools Superintendent Donna Talerico said.

A total of 1,500 doses have been set for Mon’s middle schoolers, she said. That’s in contrast to the 2,400 total enrollment of students in that age group in the county.

An additional 150 dosages have also been ordered for Mon’s high schoolers who are reconsidering the vaccine, Talerico said.

Their clinics are this morning at University High and Clay-Battelle, and Thursday morning at Morgantown High.

The more dosages administered, the deputy superintendent said, the closer Mon County — its school district and otherwise — gets to that 70% benchmark of herd immunity.

For Mon Schools, herd immunity means full classrooms, she said.

And prom, and full bleacher seats for graduation and sports.

“It’s the only way we can get back to normal,” she said.

Mon County, meanwhile, is among 15 school districts across West Virginia hosting vaccination clinics this week for students — and everyone else, Gov. Jim Justice said.

West Virginia’s Department of Education estimates that there are 78,000 students in this age range across the state who are newly eligible to be vaccinated.

Justice wants to go beyond that.

The prescription, the governor said, is accessibility.

“At these clinics, we will also offer vaccines to all eligible West Virginians, including any other students, parents, and educators,” he said earlier.

“They’re for anyone who chooses to show up and get vaccinated.”

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