Local Students Involved in Vaccination Challenge
Yakima County Health officials are doing all they can to increase the number of people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in the valley. The latest effort is called "Race for Community Immunity" and five Yakima County High Schools are involved in the challenge. It started on May 19 and the students are now in a race to see which student body has more people vaccinated. Schools involved in the challenge include Davis High School, Eisenhower High School, Yakima Online, La Salle High School, and Toppenish High School. A press release from the Yakima Health District says "as part of this challenge, eligible students are encouraged to get vaccinated at the Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at Yakima State Fair Park or at Mobile Vaccine Unit locations. Every week, the Yakima Health District will provide updates on the percentage of students vaccinated by schools. Only those 16 and older will count as part of this challenge."
Yakima School District officials released a statement saying "we thank the Yakima Health District for collaborating with districts in this spirited campaign to increase the access and visibility of information about vaccines and vaccine clinics in Yakima, especially those at schools (with parent permission) that provide easy access for our busy families."
Health officials say as a reminder that students 16 to 17 years-old need permission from their parent or legal guardian to be vaccinated.
Yakima County Commissioner Amanda McKinney is upset the health district started this program on Wednesday. She says she's asking the board of health to stop the program and other marketing of the vaccine to younger students in Yakima County.
State officials say nearly 59% of people in the state age 16 and up have been vaccinated. When the number reaches 70% state officials say the economy can reopen. They're hoping that happens by June 30.