PENINSULA, Ohio — Woodridge High School senior Sarah Abood felt a little nervous getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but also experienced a sense of relief because she knows what it's like to have the coronavirus.
She got it in January and felt sick for 10 days.
"My whole body just felt like it was drained all at once. I could barely do anything. I was super tired and just weak all the time," Abood said.
She was among 80 students over the age of 16 who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday morning in the school's gymnasium.
Owen Thompson, who is also a senior, said he had no hesitation.
"I'm pretty grateful for the opportunity just from the hospital and the superintendent. I feel like it's a good opportunity for me and my classmates," Thompson said.
The shots were administered by nurses from Akron Children's Hospital, which is partnering with about 20 other school districts to provide similar clinics in the coming weeks.
Dr. Mike Bigham, chief quality officer for the hospital, wants parents and students to be reassured the vaccine is safe.
"What we know, not only in studies but now we've got months of administration of the Pfizer vaccine under our belt, is it has been consistently effective," Bigham said.
Bigham pointed out that the number of COVID-19 cases is up in recent weeks among those under the age of 18, making up 15% of current coronavirus infections in Ohio.
"So we know that's a population that we need to get vaccinated so we can continue to reduce the number of COVID cases," he said.
The vaccinated students were monitored in the gym and given appointments for their second dose before returning to class.
Abood, who will attend Ohio State University in the fall, and Thompson, who is going to the University of Cincinnati, agreed getting vaccinated brought them hope for the near future.
"Just to clear up our summer a little bit and maybe get a chance to see relatives or grandparents that we haven't gotten to see in a while," Thompson said.
"I'm excited to go into college and hopefully getting somewhat back to normal," Abood added.
Akron Children's Hospital is organizing other COVID-19 vaccine clinics with the following school districts:
- Akron Public Schools
- BioMed Science Academy
- Copley-Fairlawn City Schools
- Coventry Local Schools
- Crestwood Local Schools
- Cuyahoga Falls City Schools
- Field Local Schools
- Hudson City Schools
- Kent City Schools
- Nordonia City Schools
- Rootstown Local Schools
- Stow City Schools
- Streetsboro City Schools
- Tallmadge City Schools
- Triway Local Schools
- Walsh Jesuit High School
- Windham Local Schools
- Woodridge Local Schools
- Wooster City Schools