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Local Tennessee schools stage COVID-19 vaccination events

Local Tennessee schools stage COVID-19 vaccination events

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Kai Allison get his COVID-19 vaccine as his mom Crystal look on.

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kai Allison chose to receive his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in his left arm Monday to avoid any soreness that might have interfered with the stance he takes while playing defensive end and other positions in football.

He was taking part in the Sullivan County Regional Health Department’s vaccination event in the Tennessee High School parking lot. The event was part of a series of two-day events hosted this month at local schools. Vaccinations will be administered again today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school. No appointments are needed.

Allison, a rising eighth-grader at Tennessee Middle School, said the pain was comparable to his first shot, which he got May 18 at Whitetop Creek Park. He added that he was a bit hesitant to get vaccinated because he hates shots.

“As his mother, I was excited for the opportunity to protect my son,” said Crystal Allison, who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot Monday at Whitetop.

She added that her whole family came down with COVID-19 in February from an unknown source.

Kai Allison only lost his taste and smell, however, his mother and father, Kevin, had all the typical symptoms, including fever and body aches, she said.

When she began to have similar body aches after receiving the vaccination, though, Crystal Allison said, she knew it was working.

Overall, she said that getting vaccinated has been a positive experience.

“You’re protecting your loved ones, especially our children,” she said, adding that her son’s participation in sports was a contributing factor to getting him vaccinated.

Two hundred Pfizer and 50 Johnson & Johnson doses were on site for distribution Monday, Health Department officials said. A total of 46 were vaccinated.

Those who attended Monday’s event were primarily younger, health officials added.

Those who receive their vaccines this week will be eligible to receive their second dose at events hosted at the school June 28-29.

Approximately 40 percent of Sullivan County residents have had at least one vaccination and about 36 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Statewide, 4.5 percent of residents ages 12-20 have been vaccinated, according to TDH data.

mbasileo@bristolnews.com | 276-285-4016 | Twitter: @MariaBasileo

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