Manhattan High holds vaccine clinic

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

A total of 20 students were given their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine for free during the vaccine clinic held at both Manhattan High campuses on Wednesday.

“I feel like [students got the vaccine at the clinic because] it’s convenient and because if they are exposed to another student who has Covid then their quarantines would be different,” nurse Robin Mall said. 

The Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved for all students 16 years old and above and approved for emergency use for children aged 12 and up. All students who are eligible are encouraged by USD 383 to get vaccinated due to the increasing presence of the Delta variant — the reason for the continuation of the district mask mandate — and because vaccinated students exposed to the vaccine have less stringent quarantine requirements.

“I would recommend that people get vaccinated,” Mall said. “It is not 100% effective but it would prevent you from getting serious complications.”

Currently, fully vaccinated students do not have to quarantine if they are in close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 but do have to quarantine if they test positive or are symptomatic. All students regardless of vaccination status have to continue wearing masks through at least Sep. 24,when the mask mandate will be revisited by the USD 383 school board. Students and staff will not be considered vaccinated and receive benefits in regards to quarantine and potentially mask guidelines until they are two weeks past their second dose, with waiting periods between doses being approximately 21 days. 

Students who missed this clinic but would like to get vaccinated can do so at any local pharmacy free of charge with parental permission, with locations for Pfizer including HyVee, Walgreens and Dillons. For those under 18, the only vaccine approved is Pfizer. However, anyone 18 and older also has the option to receive Moderna or Johnson & Johnson — which is one dose — vaccine. 

“It’s so nice to be able to go to other places besides your doctor’s office and Riley County Health Department to get vaccinated,” Mall said, “because who wants to go to a doctor’s office if you’re a well person and sit with a bunch of people coughing.”

Manhattan High will schedule another clinic on Wednesday, Sep. 22 during Advisory.