The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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12-15 Year Olds Eligible for Vaccines

Event hosted at middle school
Parent+volunteers+gave+vaccines+to+students.+
Oscar Walsh
Parent volunteers gave vaccines to students.

In a major step towards returning to a normal school experience for students, the FDA approved the Pfizer-Bio-NTech vaccine for emergency use, meaning that the Pfizer vaccine can be administered to anyone above the age of 12 while the pandemic continues to hurt communities all across the country and world. However, as the number of administered vaccinations increases, the CDC has eased restrictions on mask-wearing. Mask mandates outdoors and in some indoor settings are over, as states try to return to normalcy. The optimistic news was further added to when Blake announced a community vaccination event to allow Blake students as well as people from around Minneapolis to get vaccinated. On May 13, Blake partnered with MN Physician Medical Group to provide around 600 people vaccines.

Associate Head of School, Anne Graybeal, explains, “We received an opportunity to host a clinic that’s offered by [MN Physician Medical Group] that is a group of physicians in Minnesota that has been hosting community vaccine clinics throughout the metro and throughout the state. They reached out to us and asked if we liked to host an event at Blake and we said ‘yes, absolutely’. It’s a great opportunity for as many of our kids who want [the vaccine] to get it and because it’s a community clinic… the clinic is actually open to anyone from the community, Blake affiliate or not. We see it as having two really great benefits: One is a direct benefit to our school and then also the broader benefit to community members.” 

Though the vaccination clinic will most likely the only vaccination event Blake will hold for the remainder of the school year, Graybeal says, “What we found is that a number of families who wanted to schedule [a vaccine] but couldn’t, actually wound up being able to get appointments through their own health care providers.” 

William Bachman ‘24 was one of the many ninth graders who were able to get their vaccine on May 13, and when asked about the FDA’s announcement for 12 to 15 year-olds being able to get vaccinated, he was very excited. Bachman expresses, “I think it’s great news. I think that finally being able to get a vaccine opens up a world of possibilities. Allows students to start interacting with each other and it’s a step in the right direction to a return to normal. Both my parents and grandparents are already vaccinated but I haven’t been able to hang out with my grandparents so now I’ll be able to spend time with them.” 

Graybeal explained that the school has not made any plans yet for the 2021-22 school year, but she says, “We love to see so many members of our community being vaccinated. It obviously provides a really, really powerful mitigation factor for us in terms of COVID spread… We are very optimistic about beginning in a way that is in line with what we’ve been able to do this spring… We would love to see a return to near normalcy for as many events as we can.” 

Usman Mallick ‘24 agreed, as he emphasizes, “[Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year-olds] means that we can return to normalcy and finally have a highschool experience that we were promised. It gives me a glimmer of hope that there might be a light at the end of tunnel.” 

Graybeal also mentioned that there is not yet a decision on whether a COVID-19 vaccination will be required for school next year as many students are under the age of twelve and it is not certain what the severity of the pandemic will be like in the fall. In the meantime, even as restrictions are eased in Minnesota, staying safe and following the guidelines are the best way for a swift return to a normal high school experience.

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About the Contributors
Evan Vezmar
Evan Vezmar, Editor Emeritus
Hi, my name is Evan Vezmar, and I'm a senior. I began writing for Spectrum in my freshman year as a staff writer and became an editor in 10th grade. Last semester, I was a Managing Editor and the Opinions Editor. My favorite part of Spectrum is being able to give a voice to people who may not be able to through the news. In my free time, I like to read, play the piano, and fence.
Oscar Walsh
Oscar Walsh, Editor Emeritus
I'm Oscar, and this is my third year on Spectrum. This semester I am one of the opinion editors. Last year I was a multimedia editor, writer, and photographer. In my free time I like to take photos, ski, and play soccer.

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