Students Eligible to Get the Vaccine This Month

Students+Eligible+to+Get+the+Vaccine+This+Month

On April 19, the general public over the age of 16 will be able to receive the Covid vaccine, and this will include a large portion of Williston students.

This revelation is very exciting for many Massachusetts residents. Day students who are over the age of 16 will be able to schedule an appointment. According to the Massachusetts Government Website, students who study in state, even if they live outside of Massachusetts, will be able to get the vaccine.

“The Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination program is intended for individuals who live, work or study in the Commonwealth,” reads the Massachusetts Government website. This means domestic boarders and international students who are over 16 will be able to schedule appointments.

While the impending April date is promising, the vaccine continues to be in very high demand, and appointments can be very difficult to find.

Amber Mish, Director of Health and Wellness Services, promotes and trusts the vaccine, but is unsure whether or not students will be required to get it next year, especially since the vaccine is not yet approved for those 16 and under.

“This is something that I can’t answer right now, I am sure that we will have many discussions over the next couple of months about what we as a school want to do about the vaccine,” she said. “As of right now none of the vaccines are approved for anyone under the age of 16 and there is no way of knowing when that will change.”

David Koritkoski, Associate Dean of Students, told The Willistonian that nothing has been set in stone in regards to the vaccine next year.

“No final decisions have been made about next year yet,” he said. “I would imagine we would strongly encourage everyone who can get the vaccine to get the vaccine. We will likely do all that we can to help facilitate that,” he said.

Koritkoski strongly reinforced that notion that all safety protocols will continue to be enforced and followed whether students and staff are vaccinated or not.

“Even though we will, by the end of this, year have many faculty and some students vaccinated, that won’t change what happens on campus,” he said. “Vaccinated or not we are all going to be under the same protocols.”

According to Charles McCullagh, Williston’s Chief Financial Officer, as of Monday, March 29 25% of employees are fully vaccinated, and 57% of additional employees have had at least one dose.

This does not include any students, who, like senior day student Molly Kinstle, are eagerly awaiting theirs.

“I think it’s great,” said Molly Kinstle, from Easthampton. “I think the science behind it is really cool and I also think it’s great just to finally have a vaccine for this,” she said.

Molly is going to getting the vaccine when it is available to her. She also believes that for next year, students should all get the vaccine to keep everyone safe.

Eve Seidman, a senior from Baltimore, Maryland also is ready to get the shot, despite her fear of needles.

“Yes, I would [get the vaccine],” she said. “However, I put a lot of thought into this because I am a person who has a fear of needles, but at this point that we’ve come to, I think it’s something really important and something that will help things get back to normal,” she said.

Eve is also wary of requiring students to get the vaccine to attend school next year, since the vaccine is still so new. While there are safety reasons for each student to be required to get the vaccine, the community might want to wait until the vaccine is perfected.

“You need your meningitis shot and other required shots to come to school, so if we think the Covid vaccine falls within that category of requirements, then yes, students should be required to get it,” Eve said. “However, they could still be perfecting the vaccine and we don’t know if we should wait until they get it right,” she said.