BVH hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students, community members

Bonita+Vista+High+is+hosting+a+vaccination+clinic+on+Friday%2C+May+28+to+vaccinate+students+and+community+members+against+COVID-19.+While+it+is+not+mandatory+for+students+to+get+vaccinated%2C+BVH+and+vaccinate+1000+students+on+Friday.

Lucia Rivera

Bonita Vista High is hosting a vaccination clinic on Friday, May 28 to vaccinate students and community members against COVID-19. While it is not mandatory for students to get vaccinated, BVH and vaccinate 1000 students on Friday.

Lucia Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

On Friday, May 28, Bonita Vista High (BVH) hosted a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the BVH gym from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aimed at BVH, Bonita Vista Middle (BVM) and Rancho Del Rey Middle (RDRM) students, staff and community members, the clinic offered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) students and staff from other sites could also attend if the BVH clinic is the most convenient location for them. 

“[BVH is] hosting the vaccination clinic because we have a need for our community to have access to vaccinate their family, friends and loved ones,” BVH Assistant Principal Esther Wise said. “We are able to partner with the Chula Vista Fire Department and they need a central location […] that is welcoming, and Bonita is that place.”

According to an email sent to BVH staff by Wise on May 25, students were only vaccinated if they had a “fully completed consent form signed by [a] parent and a valid school or [California Identification] (CA ID).” Students could pick up consent forms at the BVH front office during school hours until Thursday, May 27, or access the online version. 

Prior to BVH’s clinic on Friday, BVH nurse Rosemarie Julio attended a vaccination clinic at Chula Vista High to gain insight for the upcoming BVH clinic.  

“Volunteering at the other clinics and knowing how the process was run greatly helped in leading our vaccination clinic,” Julio said. “I was able to speak to the fire department lead and ensured we provided what they needed and vice versa.”

Two of the clinic attendees, BVH senior Allison Miranda and freshman Savanna McCarville, both described the overall process as easy despite having different reasons for attending. Miranda chose to get vaccinated “because colleges require them,” while Savanna McCarville figured “why not?”

It was really easy and quick. We just signed up and then we went and they took our names down and then the actual shot was really quick too.”

— BVH senior Allison Miranda

“It was really easy and quick. We just signed up and then we went and they took our names down and then the actual shot was really quick too. Then we just had to sit for 15 minutes afterwards,” Miranda said. 

It is common procedure for people to wait after receiving their vaccines in order to gauge any immediate, serious side effects. Students like Miranda who attended the clinic on May 28 will return on June 18 for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Julio advised students not to fear the shot itself, while recommending research for hesitant teenagers. 

“I know lots of students are afraid of shots; honestly, the fear is worse than the actual shot, [as the] majority do not feel it at all,” Julio said.  “The most important thing is to educate yourself with evidence-based studies on the efficacy and side effects of the vaccine and make an educated decision for yourself.” 

Additionally, on May 24, students were also sent an informational video by the County of San Diego, in which Child Health Officer of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Kelly Motadel, M.D., M.P.H., answered “youth COVID vaccination questions.”

“More teens are getting COVID now than those over 65 years of age for every 100,000 people,” Motadel said. “Even if you only have mild disease or even if [you don’t have any] symptoms at all, teens are still at risk for other complications, such as long COVID, which can have a patient suffering from a variety of debilitating symptoms for several weeks or even several months.” 

Motadel also stated “protecting friends and loved ones” and no expected severe side effects serve as reasons for students to get vaccinated. According to the San Diego County vaccination dashboard, 12 to 19-year-olds make up 6.7 percent of vaccinated people. Other SUHSD school vaccination sites have contributed to that number, such as a recent vaccination clinic at Eastlake Middle (ELM) at which 470 students were vaccinated, according to ELM Principal Easter Finely. 

BVH, however, hopes to “vaccinate 1000 people which will be more than double of any school in our area,” Wise wrote. Despite the promotion of vaccinations to SUHSD students, four anti-vaccine protesters attended the BVH vaccination clinic on Friday with posters and flyers. 

There were also three police vehicles and at least four police officers present outside the gym where the vaccines were administered. For students uncertain amid vaccine controversy, Wise recommended they discuss the decision with others in their community who can provide insight.

“My advice is to get as much information so that you can make the best decision for yourself,” Wise said. “Go out there and get information from professionals, right from the medical doctors, maybe from our nurse, definitely from friends and then make your decision that way.”

This piece was updated on May 28, 2021.