A planned COVID-19 vaccination clinic at a school in Killingly is creating controversy. Opponents have raised concerns and it was previously put on hold, though supporters say it’s a needed resource for that part of the state.
At a meeting Wednesday, the school board voted against holding future clinics on school properties.
“This is a controversial topic and we already have enough distraction in the learning environment," town resident LeeAnn Ducat said.
Parents, students and community members pushed back on a plan to hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Killingly High School.
“It is unacceptable and there is no need for any medical procedures to be done on school grounds," resident Sarah Roberts said.
Nearly everyone who spoke out at a school board meeting raised concerns, including about the vaccine itself, the choice of a school for a clinic and the effect an event could have.
“All it’s doing is pressuring students and parents to get it," Lucas Johnson, of Griswold, said.
The clinic was originally scheduled at the high school for Friday and would have been open to children age 5 and up, school staff and parents needing boosters.
But we’re told that plan was suddenly put on hold.
“Once board members found out about the clinic, three or more of the board members contacted me asked me if we could add this as a discussion with possible action to tonight’s agenda," Doug Farrow, Killingly Board of Education chairman, explained.
The district says 150 students had expressed interest in getting a dose. And state health experts say the vaccines are safe and effective.
“Killingly has one of the highest infection rates in the state right now. We have one of the lowest vaccination rates. Having a clinic in Killingly is critical at this point in time," Hoween Flexer, a board member, said.
Clinic opponents point out there are other places in the area to get a shot. Though some say that’s not always easy to do at some offices.
“Their available times were Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 9, 10 and 11:30. They would miss full days of schools to be vaccinated at their office," Killingly resident Susan Lannon pointed out.
The board is now asking the superintendent to work with a local hospital to see if a clinic can be held elsewhere.