Health department organizes clinics to administer vaccines


Natasha Speiss/Chronicle

After receiving her first two doses earlier in the pandemic, middle school Latin Teacher Mercedes Barletta receives a COVID-19 booster shot at the school’s vaccination clinic.

Natasha Speiss

Elements Pharmacy partnered with the school to hold booster shot and flu vaccination clinics at both the Middle School and Upper School campuses Oct. 4-8. The booster clinics were open to faculty members, and the flu vaccine clinics were open to students and faculty.

The Community Health Office said the flu vaccine clinics are meant to maximize campus safety and prevent confusion resulting from the overlap of symptoms with the flu and COVID-19.

Students reflect on the importance of vaccinations 

Daniella Goldrich ’23 said although she has already gotten a flu shot at her doctor’s office, she is appreciative of the school’s efforts to prevent the spread of illnesses on campus.

“It’s great that the school is doing its part to keep our community safe,” Goldrich said. “I’m particularly grateful that they’re making it easier for students to have access to the flu shot by distributing it at our school. This will make it much easier for our school community to stay healthy during these stressful and uncertain times.”

Andrew Eitner ’23, who received his flu vaccine from the school’s clinic, said the school’s decision to hold the clinics made getting vaccinated more accessible to the community.

“The shot is free [at school], as opposed to other places, so it seemed like the best option,” Eitner said. “It’s a free shot. It was fast and it was easy.”

Community members emphasize importance of keeping each other safe

Administrative Assistant Patricia Nolte said that she receives the flu shot annually but that she used the school’s vaccine clinic this fall.

“I get vaccinated for the flu every year and have taken [getting vaccinated] for granted so many years now that I would’ve [gotten vaccinated] either way,” Nolte said. “For the most part, I feel comfortable that I’ve done enough to protect myself and others.”

Although she did not go to the school’s vaccination clinic and opted to receive the flu vaccine from her own doctor, Charlotte Hogan ’24 said she welcomes and encourages the school’s efforts to prioritize student health. She said the pandemic has changed the way students and teachers treat mild cold symptoms.

“It’s completely unusual because usually if you’re sick you just power through [and] you get through the day,” Hogan said. “It’s definitely out of the ordinary [for the school to say], ‘If you have a cold, don’t come to school,’ but I think it’s great that the school is offering vaccines to the whole [school] community.”