After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more available to the general public. According to Governor Kim Reynolds, vaccinations will be available to all of-age Iowans starting on April 5.
While numerous teachers have already been vaccinated through Iowa’s previous vaccination phases, this vaccination plan means many of City High’s students will be eligible to receive a vaccine. All students 16 and older will be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, while students 18 and older will be able to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well.
“The fact that I could get the vaccine in the foreseeable future is really exciting,” Ella Sherlock ‘23 said. “[The vaccine] opens up a bunch of possibilities, like being able to see my grandparents and great-grandparents.”
Sherlock is looking forward to getting the vaccine when she is eligible this April. Along with seeing family, getting the vaccine will allow her to do more things with others.
“I’m in a couple of different clubs that haven’t been able to meet in person or be able to do activities that we normally do. I would be able to participate more and feel safer in that realm,” Sherlock said.
Suzi Wilkes, the school nurse at City High, has been handling the school’s COVID-19 cases this year. If a student or teacher contracts the virus, she is responsible for following up with the ICCSD COVID-19 protocol as well as contact tracing.
“I think the most important reason to get the vaccine is to help protect our students, their families, their friends, and our community as a whole,” Wilkes said. “This virus affects everyone differently and you have no idea if you or your loved one will have serious consequences from an infection from COVID-19.”
While students begin to get vaccinated and develop immunity, she looks forward to the return to safer school days.
“If we can get to a reasonable level of herd immunity, we can start resuming a more normal activity level both here at school and outside of school,” Wilkes said. “The students that I know who are online are very ready to get back into the building with their peers. I think it is also safe to say that we are all looking forward to mask-free days.”
As students get their vaccines, COVID-19 safety precautions remain in place.
“All students, even those students who are vaccinated, should continue to stay home if they are sick, wear their masks, keep their distance, and wash their hands often,” Wilkes said.
To schedule an appointment, find a vaccination site and complete the signup process through the location’s website. Vaccination sites available in the Iowa City and Coralville area can be found at this website: VaccineInformation