Carl Junction schools host back-to-school vaccination clinic

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. – The Carl Junction School District hosted a back-to-school vaccination clinic today. In addition to the mandatory vaccines for students, they also offered the COVID-19 vaccine.

Thursday’s vaccine clinic provided the required vaccinations for 8th and 12th graders getting ready to head back to school in a few weeks, but it also added a voluntary option. Stacey Whitney, RN, and lead nurse for Carl Junction Schools says “The COVID vaccine’s not required for school attendance, but we thought it would be a good opportunity for parents who wanted their students to be vaccinated, to receive that as well.”

Ginger Eubanks’ daughter is 17 and entering her senior year. For them, a COVID vaccine was necessary. “Our family had COVID in the fall and my husband and my son were very affected by it, my mother-in-law has some health issues, and my daughter wanted to make sure that she was available to be around her grandmother.”

Eubanks says she wanted her daughter to do what was right for her. “They did a very good job in biology last year covering the vaccine and she felt very informed and after asking a few questions, she made the decision herself with our support that she’d go ahead and get the vaccine as well.”

Alison Farage is a nurse at the Jasper County Health Department, one of two groups providing vaccinations Thursday. Farage says it’s important for everyone to get the vaccine, especially students heading back to class. “So being fully vaccinated that’s going to give them more options if they do have an exposure as long as they’re not having any symptoms then they won’t have to quarantine and so that’s one way that they can have more of a regular schedule.”

Farage says it’s also important to be fully educated on the vaccine, and there are resources available to help. “There is more and more information with ongoing studies, most of the children seem to do really well and it has a very high efficiency against it, but they can always call and get questions answered from the direct staff at the health department or their pediatrician.”

According to the Jasper County Health Department, as of July 20th, about 15% of kids ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the county, while around 9% are fully vaccinated.