CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Wednesday night, Western Branch High School sophomore Eli Burlingame went back to school - not for class, but for his COVID-19 shot.
“I thought I should do my part in the community [and] get my vaccine,” Burlingame told News 3. “I’m excited for the new school year.”
After getting his first Pfizer shot, he's already looking ahead.
“Seeing people’s faces again,” he said. “I can see my friends now safely.”
Burlingame is one of more than 1,100 people getting a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Chesapeake Public Schools this week.
“They’re coming because they feel comfortable,” Dr. Nancy Welch, Director of the Chesapeake Health Dept., said.
“It’s been mostly students from 12 and up. I’ve seen a lot of middle school students,” Chesapeake Health Dept. School Epidemiologist Jenny Hahn said. “In the schools, it promotes equity. It’s easy access if you’re coming to your community’s school.”
All spots this week, health officials told News 3, filled up quickly.
“Most of them are asymptomatic at this age, but we also know that they carry a very high percentage when they do get infected, even without symptoms,” Dr. Welch said. “The best way to assure that we don’t end up with a variant that is resistant to the vaccine is for us to have many, many people vaccinated, so it denies the opportunity of this virus to thrive.”
Health officials said they'll work to make sure everyone gets their shot to get the shot.
“We started protecting persons first. Now, we’re looking at really stopping the pandemic, and this age population plays a major role,” Dr. Welch said. “Everyone has come together with a very common goal. Protecting our community.”
Chesapeake health officials said they're planning on putting on a community event, a Fun Fair, on Friday, June 4 from 3-7p.m. at the Sears site, where folks will have a chance to get a vaccine.