Saturday organizers held one event in Green Valley Ranch. It was the largest of six clinics they plan to hold. It’s a mission critical for DPS and Denver Health.
KELLY WERTHMANN: There is now a push to get younger people the COVID-19 vaccine. Today, a mass vaccination event took place with the help of Denver Health.
Good afternoon, I'm Kelly Werthmann. Thank you for joining us.
The pandemic has made getting an education very difficult for parents and students. Schools are starting to reopen, but COVID exposures often force students back to online learning. That is why Denver Health and DPS are teaming up to protect students.
Michael Abeyta is live at Lincoln High School. So, Michael, what is their plan?
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Well, Kelly, they want students to get vaccinated, as many as possible. Now of course, only their students that are 16 or older are eligible to get vaccinated right now, but they say just getting those sophomores, juniors, and seniors the shot will make a big difference.
Aliziya Oliva knew Saturday morning she was going to get her COVID vaccine.
ALIZIYA OLIVA: I feel like it's important to get vaccinated to help simmer down the virus.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: And she says it was as easy as expected.
ALIZIYA OLIVA: It was quick. It was painless.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: She's one of 6,000 DPS students, aged 16 and up, that will be vaccinated at mass vaccination events held by Denver Health and Denver Public Schools.
This one in Green Valley Ranch was the largest of six clinics they plan to hold. It's an effort that is critical for the district and Denver Health.
STEVE FEDERICO: It's important for a couple of reasons. One is, of course, to protect them from getting COVID. The other is to protect the other students, the other people in school buildings, as well as their family members.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: And the district is talking the talk when it comes to protecting families. Students like Aliziya made appointments, but Denver Health was able to find enough vaccines to offer it to their parents as well, like Aliziya's mom, Sabrina.
- I was not expecting it. I've been on waiting lists forever, so I'm very happy that I got vaccinated.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: DPS says the more they can prevent COVID outbreaks in their schools, the more they can commit to in-person learning and activities. Aliziya says it's too late for her, she missed out on our senior year because people didn't take COVID seriously enough.
ALIZIYA OLIVA: We should have been smarter people about it.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Now she says she hopes the community takes this opportunity to get vaccinated so that her peers can have a normal school experience.
ALIZIYA OLIVA: It would be basically have less to worry about if we all followed what we are supposed to.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Now, that was one of six mass vaccination sites at DPS sites that they're planning to hold. If you want to figure out where the other ones are going to be, head to cbsdenver.com. The next one will be Sunday here at Abraham Lincoln, but it should be by appointment only.
In Denver, Michael Abeyta, Covering Colorado First.
- Michael, thank you.