Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health is encouraging those within the 12 to 17 age group to get vaccinated this week.
“If we get more of the 12- to 17-year-olds vaccinated this week to get a first dose, we have more opportunity to get them fully vaccinated before the start of school,” says Amanda Posadowski of the KFL&A Public Health Preventable Disease Vaccine Team.
Currently, 73 per cent of those aged 12 to 17 have received their first vaccination, and 44 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Posadowski says public health would like to see 90 per cent of that age group with at least one dose by the start of the school year in September.
“We want to prevent outbreaks in schools because we want to keep kids in school,” she says. “Keep them learning and not out of school.”
Students like Tianna and Ellora Outwater stood in line for their second shots, eager to return to in-class learning.
“Online school is terrible. I do not like it,” says 16-year-old Tianna. “I’d rather just be in school, see everybody, learn like normal. I don’t know, I want it to be normal again.”
“I just want to go to school and see my friends and actually play on the climber at recess,” continues her 12-year-old sister, Ellora.
The push to increase vaccinations this week comes as some of the larger vaccination centres in the area are set to wind down their operations.
“Our mass clinic at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee and the Mass clinic at the Invista Centre Arena are closing as of Aug. 2,” says Posadowski.
Clinics will continue at the Beechgrove complex, Kingston Community Health Centre, as well as public health offices in Napanee and on Portsmouth Avenue in Kingston.
KFL&A Public Health will also be organizing smaller mobile clinics at various locations starting in August.