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Boise School District gauging interest in hosting vaccine clinics for eligible high school students

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine can be administered to anyone 16 and older.

BOISE, Idaho — All Idahoans 16 and over are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. With teens now included in the rollout, some Boise high schools could be home to vaccine clinics. 

The Boise School District (BSD) is asking parents and students for input on this idea.

“We're really trying to remove barriers for those students and families who want to receive the vaccination that we make it as easy for them as possible,” BSD spokesperson Dan Hollar said.

BSD sent out a two-question survey to eligible students and their families.

“If we can do it in our schools, that's better than them having to schedule outside,” Hollar said.

The district would work with Saint Alphonsus to host a clinic in their high schools, including Boise, Borah, Capital, Frank Church and Timberline.

“Determine if we have that level of interest there, to determine how best to roll that out whether it’s before school or after school,” Hollar said. “I think there’s a high desire by members of our medical community to make sure we're offering these vaccinations for our eligible students.”

That desire is felt by Dr. David Pate, the retired St. Luke’s CEO and a member of Gov. Brad Little’s Coronavirus Working Group.

“I commend them,” he said. “I think it’s important that we make the vaccine as easy as possible for everyone to get.”

Opening up access to 16 and 17-year-old students can help control transmission of the virus, according to Pate.

“Getting them vaccinated protects everyone else that they're going to interact with whether it’s their teachers or grandparents,” he said.

At this time it’s important for as many Idahoans to get vaccinated as possible.

Vaccinating more people can ward off any more variants of concern, such as the variant first discovered in the UK.

“This new variant does tend to infect younger kids more than it did before,” Pate said. “What we want to do is to a more normal school year for next year and vaccination's a great way to do that.”

Hollar said the survey will likely remain open the rest of the week. They stressed it’s important for families to respond sooner rather than later so they can start looking at the numbers.

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