Some concerned as Kansas kids return to school unvaccinated, without COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Public Schools are just six weeks out from the first day of the new school year.

As of right now, the Sedgwick County Health Department says just 12 percent of eligible students are fully vaccinated and that number concerns some health officials.

“I’ve actually heard there’s fish in the vaccine. One of my friends is allergic to fish and their throat started closing up and everything. I’m skeptical, I don’t know what’s in it,” Savannah Gibbs, a high school student.

Children ages 12 to 17 years old have been able to get the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since May, but in Kansas, they have the lowest vaccination rate in the state.

“I wanted to because I didn’t want to get the sickness. I don’t want to die, and leave my mom alone,” said middle school student Eric Elliott.

The vaccine isn’t yet available for children under 12 years old, but Pfizer says it plans to ask for FDA approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11 by this fall.

Wichita students will head back to the classroom in August without a mask requirement, but some say it’s too early, considering the vast majority of students who are unvaccinated.

“I personally think that even though they can’t get the vaccine, and some people can get the vaccine, I still think everyone should wear the mask,” said high school student Kristina Black.

The Sedgwick County Health Department is working with school districts to stress the importance of getting the vaccine before school starts.

While data shows that it is extremely rare for children to show severe symptoms, health officials are concerned because they can still spread the virus.

Health officials say if you want your child fully vaccinated by the first day of school, you need the schedule their first dose by July 8.

If you want to use the Sedgwick County Vaccine, remember, the clinic is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and only accepting walk-ins. Other options include your family doctor or local pharmacy.

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