Mobile vaccination unit offers COVID-19 vaccine to Palm Beach County students

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 2:21 PM EDT
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New Palm Beach County data shows just over 50% of 12-to-19-year-olds have one or two COVID-19 vaccines.

There is a new push this month to get mobile vaccine units out to schools to increase vaccinations among high schoolers.

There’s no doubt there is still vaccine hesitancy among parents of children 12 to 17 years old.

"Honestly, I don’t think they need the vaccine," said Gisele Lemus.

"We just worry about the side effects with the kids," said Joseba Padin.

In the pick-up line at Seminole Ridge Community High Achool in the Acreage — the school with currently the most student COVID-19 cases at 135 -- most parents WPTV spoke to do not plan to get their students vaccinated.

"If they can show the vaccination works, then we will be more open to it. But when people are vaccinated and are still getting COVID and getting sick then it doesn’t make it positive to want to get it," said Jamie Black.

Yet vaccine initiatives in the area show there is growing interest. The Health Care District of Palm Beach County's mobile vaccination team is visiting two schools every day to offer vaccines to students or their parents or family members who are eligible.

Since the initiative started on Sept. 8, vaccine administration has increased daily from 12 shots combined at Jupiter Community High School and William T. Dwyer High School on the first day to 64 shots given Tuesday between Wellington Community High School and Palm Beach Lakes Community High School.

Still, four Palm Beach County high schools -- Seminole Ridge, Jupiter, Wellington, and Boca Raton -- have more than 100 COVID-19 cases among students since August.

"I think there’s a lot of kids that go to the school and it’s just a part of what we have to deal with COVID," Black said.

WPTV tried to obtain COVID case count data by zip code from the state -- reports County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay has also asked for -- but have not heard back.

"Palm Beach County is so diverse, you’re going to have different reasons for this spread in different parts of the county. But without really knowing where those hot spots are it’s making our job more difficult in terms of how we respond," McKinlay said.

Some parents do have concerns about spread, especially when it comes to stay-at-home directives for the unvaccinated.

"The issue they had to stay home for 15 days because there was a kid that was contaminated in their class and both of them had to stay home, it’s hard. It's real hard," Castro said.

Castro said the quarantine pushed him to get his two sons the first doses of the vaccine.

To see a schedule of which Palm Beach County high schools the Health Care District's mobile vaccination unit will visit, click here.

Scripps Only Content 2021