400 Milford students vaccinated at COVID-19 clinic, a step toward 'normal life,' parent says

MILFORD — Students in the Milford school system took another step closer to resuming normal life as the Milford schools, the Milford Health Department and Yale New Haven Health System hosted a clinic where students age 12 and older received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination.

Parents and students mainly expressed relief that the youths were finally protected against the virus.

“I want him to live as much of a normal life as I had and not worry too much about his health,” said Victoria Kohler, who brought her son Kaden, a high school freshman, to the clinic Monday.

Kohler said the school system made the vaccination easy and convenient.

“The communication was very good. They called me and told me that we could come in early,” she said. “Everything went well, and it was well organized.”

The clinic started a little slow, with a handful of students coming in at 2 p.m. But as the clock ticked toward 3 p.m., the lines began to get longer and more people started showing up. The clinic ran until 8 p.m.

Marcia Anthony, the site coordinator, said there were about 400 students in the 12-15 age range registered to get the vaccine during the clinic, which was held at the gym in the Parsons Government Center.

“It’s going really smooth, and everybody seems to be pleased,” said Anthony.

On May 12, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was available to everyone between the ages of 12 and 15 at all clinics offering that vaccine. Lamont’s decision came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine for the 12-15 age group May 10.

Samantha Miniter said she was glad the schools had offered the clinic.

“I’m very grateful and I had hoped they would coordinate,” Miniter said. “It was great, and they made it easy.”

Miniter said she and her husband had initially felt guilty when they had received their vaccine because their daughter, Kaitlyn was 12 and not eligible to be vaccinated.

“Do you feel better now?” Kaitlyn asked. Her mother confirmed she did.

For Kaitlyn, the experience was quick and guilt-free.

“It was very quick, and I didn’t feel a thing,” she said.

Milford was one of dozens of school districts that coordinated a vaccination clinic for students. The schools had previously held clinics for students 16 and older when the Pfizer vaccine received CDC approval for that age group in March.

About half of 16- to 17-year-old students have since been vaccinated.

Widespread vaccinations are part of the reason Lamont has said schools will not be required to offer remote learning next year, although COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required for students to return to school.