Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution at FHS

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Siddharth Chandra

A view of the Franklin High School gym during Wednesday’s COVID vaccinations.

Avery Chalk, Writer

On Wednesday, January 13, Coronavirus vaccinations were officially administered at Franklin High School. The vaccines, the first of a two-session dosage, were given primarily to frontline medical workers – included were various EMTs, nurses, and other healthcare personnel. 

The gym, being the largest space in the school, was utilized to maintain social distancing guidelines while vaccinations were being distributed. Miniature “booths” were set at least six feet apart from one another, with plexiglass shields in front of patients and supervisors at all times. A temperature check was required before entry to the building, along with mandatory mask usage to ensure protection for those who came.

Cathleen Liberty, Franklin’s Director of Public Health, being interviewed by Pantherbook. (Siddharth Chandra)

Cathleen Liberty, the Director of Public Health in Franklin, weighed in about how vaccines might impact the community. “Phase One was panic and fear,” she said. “When the second wave came, people were starting to understand COVID. I think that [the vaccine] will bring our lives back to the new normal…and affect our mental, physical, and spiritual health for the better.”

All COVID-19 vaccinations have undergone intense clinical trials and safety monitoring prior to their public distribution. The second round of vaccines will be given approximately 3 weeks from initial shots, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the safety of these vaccines is a top priority.

Kathy Perkins, a nurse at Remington Middle School, supported Liberty’s theory that the widespread release of vaccines will positively influence the public. “I’m hoping…that it will be the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “It gives people hope that we will get through this!” Officer Jason Reilly, of the Franklin Police Force, agrees. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction!”

Kathy Perkins, a school nurse at Remington Middle School, volunteering during vaccine distributions. (Siddharth Chandra)

More vaccinations will also be distributed on Wednesday, January 20 at the High School. Medical workers are also being given the opportunity to receive the Coronavirus vaccination at Gillette Stadium, home to the New England Patriots. For more information on when you are eligible to receive the vaccine, click here.

Aside from healthcare professionals, a multitude of other Franklin figures have been driving forces behind the towns’ Coronavirus response. Dr. Sara Ahern, the Superintendent of the Franklin Public School System, has most notably contributed a myriad of thorough COVID-relating emails. “I know that we are weary from the pandemic and we miss and seek some normalcy in our daily lives,” she wrote in one of her most recent. “I do thank you for your continued assistance in ‘doing your part’ in keeping the Franklin community safe.” For more information about Dr. Ahern, check out this Pantherbook article here.

Another view of the High School’s socially-distant vaccination booths. (Siddharth Chandra)

For all medical workers, first responders, and other frontline staff, thank you for keeping Franklin safe. We look forward to navigating the “new normal” alongside our FHS Panthers.