Elgin School District U-46 giving students opportunity to get COVID-19 vaccine at school

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- While Chicago students were out of school Friday to get vaccinated, students in Illinois' second largest school district, Elgin U-46, were given the chance to get vaccinated against the virus at school.

With a congratulations certificate and a cool Band-Aid, students at Elgin's Coleman Elementary were proud of their new vaccination status.

"It feels good because, I was kinda of jealous because my brothers and sisters were vaccinated and I wasn't," 6th grader Jose Ramos said.

Fifth grader Makayla Krysiak said she wanted to get the shot "so I can be protected like everyone in my family is."

U-46 students ages 5 to 11 are being given the opportunity to get vaccinated in school. At Coleman, the library is being used as the vaccination center, though the Illinois Dept. of Public Health would not allow ABC7's cameras inside.

"We chose to do it during a school day," District U-46 Supt. Tony Sanders said. "We aimed for Friday's so students would have the opportunity for the weekend to recuperate."

Sanders said over a period of three different Fridays, vaccinations will be available at all 40 elementary schools.

Zoe Fowler said her 5-year-old daughter gets nervous going to the doctor, so getting a shot at school was much easier.

"It's super convenient, I know she really likes being at school, maybe it made her feel more comfortable," she said.

The district hopes the comfort and convenience of vaccinations at all district elementary schools will help boost rates.

Fourth grade teacher Zelma Frohlich said she looks forward to the day when her students are protected so they no longer have to quarantine.

"I just want my kids in the classroom learning the way we know is best for them," she said.

And for those kids who haven't gotten the shot yet, take some advice from the students with experience.

"Don't be scared, it's doesn't hurt, it's like 15 seconds," 6th grader Damian Brown said.

"One tiny sharp pain and it went away," Krysiak said.

Whether it is in school vaccinations or getting the shot somewhere else, the school community is hopeful that the participation rates will be high enough, so next year will return to a sense of normalcy.
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