“A shot hurts way less than your grandparents dying, so I figured I’d get it."By Briana Smith

BALDWIN, Pa. (KDKA) – AHN held a clinic at Baldwin High School for students 16 to 18 years old. It was lined up before vaccines were approved for kids 12 to 15, but a clinic is coming soon for that age group as well.

“A shot hurts way less than your grandparents dying, so I figured I’d get it,” said Tim Brook, a Baldwin High School sophomore.

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Book also got the Pfizer vaccine to protect those who are most vulnerable to the virus.

Another reason: students say they’re just longing for the pre-pandemic days.

“I’m ready for my life to go back to normal, and be able to see friends and family from all across the world that I couldn’t before,” said sophomore Emily Fowler.

The Allegheny Health Network partnered with Balwin High School to hold its first vaccine clinic at a school for students ages 16 to 18.

About 110 students registered to get their first Pfizer dose, and they needed parental consent. They’ll get their second one on June 3.

“It’s nice to see that the teens are getting vaccinated,” said Laura Mark, the Allegheny Health Network pharmacy vice president. “It’s the only way we’re going to get back to normal and get our schools back in session.”

“It was important to offer it during the school day so transportation wasn’t an issue and that students can ride the school bus in and get their vaccine and go about the rest of their day,” said Rachel Sprouse, the Baldwin-Whitehall School District employee services director and pandemic coordinator.

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Sprouse also says as more students get vaccinated, there will be fewer educational setbacks.

“They don’t have to worry about having to quarantine once they’re fully vaccinated,” said Sprouse. “It allows them to be part of the school community without interruption. It allows them to stay engraved in their educational programming.”

Now these sophomores are encouraging their peers to follow their lead.

“The more we raise the vaccinated amount, the less likely anyone is going to die or even get corona,” said Book.

“I think it’s definitely worth it to get it because if you’re wanting to get back into anywhere and you want the world back to normal, it’s the first step,” said Fowler.

There will be another Pfizer vaccine clinic at Balwin High School on May 22. It’s open to anyone in the community, ages 12 and older.

ANH also plans on holding more clinics in schools to reach the younger population. The network is also administering second doses at the Jewish Community Center Thursday. About 1,250 people will become fully vaccinated.

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By the end of the day, AHN will have given nearly 350,000 shots across western Pennsylvania.