Sullivan County Health partners with KCS to hold vaccine clinic for students


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Dozens of students and parents came out to Saturday’s vaccination clinic at Dobyns-Bennett High School.

It’s something that health officials hope will slow the spread of COVID-19 in schools as those cases are on the rise.

“We’re seeing an average of about 84 cases a day in Sullivan County and around 30 school-age cases a day in Sullivan County,” Sullivan County Regional Health Emergency Response Coordinator Mark Moody said. “That’s more than we were seeing at the peak of the virus back in January.”

Dobyns-Bennett junior Josh Villaire got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the event. He said he did it for himself and his family.

“My mom has just been wanting me to get it just so I don’t infect anyone else at my house,” Villaire said. “I actually have a brother who is on a ventilator from a non-COVID-related issue and so just to make sure that I don’t get him sick at all at home.”

Villaire wasn’t alone on Saturday, Robinson Middle School student Tanner Davenport was also there.

“I didn’t want to get the shot, but I did because of my baby cousin,” Davenport said. “I didn’t want her to get sick, so I got it, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.”

Parents and grandparents who brought their children to get the shot said they want their child in the classroom but are worried about the threat COVID-19 poses.

“I think it’s the right thing to do for prevention,” Jack Fannon, who has a grandson in Kingsport City Schools, said. “There’s a lot of debate about it, but I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Moody said he’s in the process of planning a clinic with Bristol, Tennessee City Schools for next Saturday at Tennessee High.

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