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Alma students vaccinated- 04/19/2021


By Kevin Taylor 

Alma Schools 


TerJe Baird didn't blink after getting word Alma High School would be giving COVID-19 vaccinations. Neither did her younger brother, Lamond, 16. 


"It's definitely made me a little more relieved," she said. "I don't want to say I'm any less cautious, but hopefully this will ease back into being normal."


Alma High School, with an assist from Coleman Pharmacy, vaccinated 56 students Monday with the first of two Pfizer-BioNTech doses. 


"This time last year, we all did not know what was going to happen," Alma High School principal Brian Kirkendoll said. "We were all scared; we were worried and concerned. We're in a lot better place now. (But) we have to get everybody vaccinated so we don't get back to where we were."


"The (COVID) numbers are down, but we want them to stay down."


"I haven't gotten COVID so far, and neither has any of my family, but I do have a lot of people in my family that are at high risk," Baird said. "If they were to get it, they may not make it. I just wanted to have that protection from it and to protect them."


Alma High School nurse Jennifer Brown believes the COVID shot may become part of our routine, just as the regular flu shots are. 


"In my professional opinion, I do think this will be the norm," she said. "I think this will be something we do in the future — sort of like the flu shot."


Brown was pleased with the first round of shots.


"I think we've had a great turnout today," she said. "It's great that they're using precaution to help out our community to stop the spread."


"I think what we've gone through for a year, being not able to play sports for a year, they're (students) ready," said Pat Whorton, who assisted with Monday’s student vaccine clinic. "They're ready to go on with life. You can't go on with life if you haven't had the shot."


Alma officials will dole out the second round of COVID vaccinations on May 10. They may open it up for another round of shots after that. 


"I wouldn't be surprised to see a larger number," Whorton said. "I think if word gets out that it wasn't so bad, maybe more kids will show up.


"Hopefully this summer, more and more of them will get vaccinated, so we can start school with no problems," Kirkendoll said. "I don't think we're going to have problems, but the more we can get vaccinated, the more we don't have to worry about it."


"They'll come back on May 10 and do this again for the second shot," he said. "We're hoping at that time, there will be a lot of students who want to come and get their first shot. 


"Hopefully that will give us a little peace through the summer."


Senior Jacob Johnson decided to get his COVID shot as well. 


"I only went and got it because I could. I'm not really scared or afraid of anything,” he said. "It's free ... you might as well."


Johnson said no one in his family has contracted COVID. 


That's not true for Kirkendoll. The Alma principal went through a harsh bout of COVID himself. 


"I wouldn't wish it on anybody," he said. "I told someone, ‘If they told me I'd have to get (the vaccine) in my eyelid, I'd get it in my eyelid.' 


"It's not something you ever want to go through again."