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New Haven, other municipalities ready to vaccinate school students

New Haven is taking advantage of April vacation to convert one school into a vaccine clinic.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The push to vaccinate the younger age groups continues, especially as cases continue to rise among that demographic. Cities and towns across the state are turning their focus to high school students.

"To get to that point of herd immunity, there’s a lot of kids that have not yet gotten vaccinated," said Mayor Justin Elicker.

The city of New Haven is working to vaccinate as many students as possible during a five-day vaccination clinic being offered to students ages 16 and up. "It’s not just New Haven public school students but any student that goes to school in New Haven," said Elicker.

The state has provided 11,000 Pfizer vaccines to the city for the clinic at Career High School that starts Monday. "If we don’t have enough appointments as young people sign up, we will keep doing this," said Elicker.

Other cities and towns across the state like Norwalk are also getting shots into the arms of their high school students. The Community Health Center Inc. is working with several towns including major school districts like Meriden, Manchester, East Hartford and more to help keep classrooms open and safe.

"We want to remove any barriers and we want to support families in ensuring that they have the easiest means of accessing the vaccine for their young people," said Reginal Vice President of Community Health Center Inc. Yvette Highsmith.

Pfizer and BioNTech are hoping to expand the number of young people eligible for the vaccine. They have requested the FDA to expand their emergency use approval to children 12 and up. Pfizer says their studies have found zero cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated adolescents.

"It’s exciting that the Pfizer clinical trials are continuing and that we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with this," said Highsmith.

Appointments remain open for eligible New Haven high school students. You can sign up by calling the state’s COVID-19 appointment line at 877-918-2224 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.