COVID-19 Vaccine Impacting Fair Grove Schools

February 3, 2021

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Nurse Brandy Cantwell talking with student Devon Miller (11)

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is being administered across the nation and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.9 million Americans have received their first dose of two, leaving many to wonder, how will this affect the Fair Grove School District?

Many students, staff, and parents of Fair Grove are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, while other members of the community have concerns about getting the vaccination.

Evyn Jones, a freshman at Fair Grove High School, has a family member who received the COVID-19 vaccination. “I believe that everyone should have a choice to what they put in their body,” Jones stated, regarding the government mandating the vaccination. “I believe instead we should try to encourage the vaccine without forcing it.” She did express her concerns for side effects, due to the long term effects being unknown.

Miracle Tracy, a junior, does not have any family members who have received the vaccination. She acknowledged neither her family nor her, will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine until there is further research put into it. “I believe the vaccine should not be mandated because most other vaccines are not,” Tracy stated. She understands the rush of getting the vaccine available by the CDC, but because of the large amount of unknowns, she doesn’t fully trust the researched side effects. “…The reality is it’s all so new and taking away that choice [of getting the vaccination] is going to cause a lot of problems,” Tracy stated. She also agrees that the elderly, and high risk people should have access to the COVID-19 vaccine first.

Fair Grove High School students wearing mask and practicing social distancing.

Brandy Cantwell, the Fair Grove High School and Middle School nurse, is hopeful that the COVID-19 vaccination will be more available to the community members. Nurse Cantwell said, “I would love to see our school get back to somewhat of a normal year next fall and I honestly feel that is possible with a vaccine.” In regards to the vaccination possibly becoming required by schools, colleges, or employers, Cantwell said “…I do not think that it will be a required immunization for schools or universities. Most of the vaccines that are mandatory for public school in the state of Missouri affect our younger population in a very detrimental way and difficult to treat.” She further explains how the vaccination process will go, “They are about 25% of the way through with the first group and plan to be done with that group in the next month or so. After that, we will see the opportunity for the vaccine to be available for our teachers, day care workers, high risk individuals and eventually to the rest of the public.” Nurse Cantwell concluded, “I think as we continue to be responsible with proper hand hygiene, social distancing, masking and taking advantage of the opportunity to vaccinate against COVID-19 this winter and spring, there is a chance to really make this virus more manageable.”

Fair Grove High School Principal Chris Stallings commented, “I believe the biggest factor will be a peace of mind for some parents and teachers. We have teachers and parents who understandably have concerns about being in school right now. I see the vaccine helping to allow students, teachers and parents to be more at ease with face to face learning.”

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COVID-19 Vaccine Impacting Fair Grove Schools