Kennedy Catholic holds mass vaccination site providing doses for majority of high school students

Many mass vaccination events in Washington state have been held and continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines, but none tailored to just high school students.

Kennedy Catholic is a private school that is a part of the Archdiocese of Seattle. On Tuesday, the school broke vaccine barriers for any student 16 and older who wanted a vaccine.

"Oh my gosh yes please give me the vaccine," student Grace Johnson said.

Johnson is 16 years old and as of Tuesday, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for her age group. The moment she got her shot meant so much to her because she said it's been difficult for her friends to clinch a vaccine appointment.

"I think it's super hard I know a lot of my friends want to be vaccinated," Johnson said.

A constant stream of students entered the gymnasium on Tuesday for their vaccines while Carla Avis, a pharmacist, worked as fast as she could to get vials ready.

"One vial will vaccinate 6 people," Avis said.

Avis is also a parent at Kennedy Catholic who played a big role in making the event possible.

"I asked my boss and luckily he approved and Safeway got the chance to do this for the community," Avis said.

That boss showed up on Tuesday with other employees at Safeway to administer the vaccines.

 "Right now we have 6 Safeway employees," Safeway Divisional Pharmacy Manager Srawan Thodupunoori said.

Kennedy Catholic Principal Matthew Mohs said they didn't hesitate to tap into community partners and that other schools can reach out to their networks too.

"Start the conversation and don’t give up after you are told no a couple of times," Mohs said.

Mohs said with high demand they decided to hold another event on Friday.

"By the time this is over we are going to vaccinate 540 students," Mohs said.

Students said on Tuesday that they feel good about being vaccinated, not just for themselves, but for others around them.

"Just safety for everybody, looking out for everybody else," student Nathaniel Ardales said.

"I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to get it," student Sam Pare said.

"I get to see my grandparents again it's just a sense of relief," student Nina Perry said.

As for public school districts planning similar events, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction said they are not aware of any, nor are there are no rules against these events.

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