Merced County high school students get vaccine


MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – Some Golden Valley High School students in Merced County who are 16-years-old or above got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday in their very own gym.

“It just felt like a little pinch. It was easy,” said Isiss Martinez, a Golden Valley High School student who got her first dose with her mom.

Martinez said despite students being allowed back on campus, she’s continued with virtual learning, but with her vaccine, she and her mom feel more comfortable about her returning to school in the Fall.

“It’s been difficult for me. I have a lot of trouble paying attention in class, and now since I’m at home, it’s become even more difficult, but I’m pulling through,” Martinez said.

When asked if she had any hesitancy before getting the vaccine, she said no.

“Not really, because I just want to be safe and stay safe with my family” she said.

But while some students go their shots, others were still hesitant. Golden Valley High School principal Kevin Swartwood said there are about 800 to 900 students at the high school who are 16 or older. About 100 appointments were filled up for the clinic on Wednesday.

“Still some hesitancy, not just in the younger group, but we see it in adults too, so we have some adults getting vaccinated here today,” Swartwood said. “This is hugely important really for our entire community. We’re just happy to have one here.”

Currently, Merced County is in the red tier of reopening. More clinics like the one at Golden Valley High School will be held throughout high schools within the Merced Union High School District in the next couple of weeks.

“Having people vaccinated helps us to get to those tiers and allows us to have more people for graduation and athletic events,” said Cristi Johnson, the director of student services at the Merced Union High School District.

For senior and baseball player Jaret Mello, having more people in the stands at athletic events is part of the reason for getting the vaccine for him.

“Last year in March was really difficult for me…It was tough seeing all the seniors from last year having games canceled,” Mello said. “Having games now is fun, back in the groove of things.”

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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