Over 500 students, parents in Lakewood School District sign up for COVID-19 vaccines
Students with special needs over the age of 16 are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and at last count, more than 500 students and parents in Lakewood have already signed up.
CHEMED Health Center has partnered with the Lakewood School District to provide the shots to students.
“Now I will be able to go out and actually have socialization, see the world not being cooped up in the house,” says student Pessy Blonder.
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Lakewood has become the first district in the state to provide eligible students over the age of 16 with the vaccine if they so choose. The town is also one of the only districts in the entire state to remain in-person, full-time instruction since the fall. For parents of special-needs children, the pandemic created even more challenges. Now, there is at least some relief.
The shots will be provided on the grounds of the high school Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and again next week through a second partnership with RWJ Barnabas Health.
“For the families that were fearful, it will allow them to send their children to in-person learning, and it will allow them who are in school to feel better,” says Lakewood Public Schools Superintendent Laura Winters.
The vaccine is optional and not a requirement.
“I can bring my mom and dad to take the shot. I'll feel more happy,” says Miguel Xahuentila, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lakewood High School. “I will help my family out.”
School officials have requested Gov. Phil Murphy’s office to give them permission to make the vaccine available to all students 16 years and older before the April 19 date set by the state.