Shawnee Mission now vaccinating teen students during school hours


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Shawnee Mission started vaccinating more than 800 students between 16 and 18 during school hours today.

The school district has clinics set up at nine different locations through the end of the week. They are using vaccinators from Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Shawnee Mission is the only school district in Johnson County taking on the huge task this month to immunize teens while they’re at school. The school district surveyed families last week to make sure this was something they wanted.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said most other school districts have decided not to stage their own clinics for students.

“We considered doing an independent clinic for just 16- to 18-year-olds at one of our sites in partnership with Children’s Mercy,” Elizabeth Holzschuh, the county’s epidemiology director, said. “But obviously with the number of vaccine appointments available in the community at our site, Children’s Mercy, hospital partners and pharmacies, we opted to just move forward with providing information to families in Johnson County about vaccine opportunities.”

The teen students will receive the Pfizer vaccine. That’s the only one currently authorized for this age group.

If your student is not in Shawnee Mission schools, teens also can go to a clinic on Wednesday, April 21, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said that the teenage immunizations are completely voluntary.

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