Around the state, the education experience has been completely altered by the pandemic. So, to help return schools to normal, some vaccine efforts are focusing on students 16 and older.
Central Connecticut State University is among those bringing the vaccine to its student body, with an on-campus vaccination event Sunday.
“I think it’s necessary because it will help everyone stay safe so that campus can kind of return to normal,” said CCSU freshman Rachel Breault.
The university said it hopes to vaccinate 800 preregistered students, each receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
"It wasn’t bad at all. They were really nice, that was really fast. It didn’t hurt or anything," said CCSU student Abigail Bechard.
Sophomore Abigail Bechard is looking forward to being fully vaccinated as she started classes at CCSU in the fall of 2019 and her experience so far, like many, has been a bit abnormal
"it was crazy because I went from like having fun, being able to go to classes and make friends to being completely online so it was a big change," Bechard said.
Among those registered for the clinic was freshman Adelina Rodriguez, who also said the pandemic has made university life rather dull.
“There are not very many events, which is kind of sad,” she said. “Not many people are able to go and meet each other and it kind of feels deserted here.”
Masters student Tanvir Azad is looking forward to returning to campus in the fall, but also being full vaccinated for his family.
"I work full-time. My son is four years old, i’m expecting my second one. I need it," Azad said.
To encourage students to get the shot, CCSU is offering a $50 housing credit for next fall to on campus students who show proof of full vaccination. Some students, though, don’t need an incentive.
“I know like last year I wasn’t able to have a graduation and I feel like if there was a vaccination, a lot of stuff could’ve been different,” said Breault.
Attempting to prevent that from happening to this year’s high school seniors, a clinic was held Saturday that included approximately 400 Mercy and Xavier High School parents and students.
“I’m excited to get my vaccine. It’s relieving,” said Xavier student Chase Vitale.
Organized by Community Health Center, Inc. and held at Wesleyan University, the clinic will operate again Sunday with the focus shifting to Middletown High School. There organizers expect to vaccinate approximately 600 students and parents.
“Students missed out on a lot last year,” said Community Health Center Sr. Communications Manager Stephanie Ivers Heine. “Everybody wants to get back to normal.”
The effort to vaccinate students will continue beyond Sunday. The Community Health Center has also partnered with several other school districts, as well.
Stories from NBCLX
LX, or Local X stands, for the exponential possibilities of storytelling in our communities.