Copperas Cove ISD student Kira Everson said when she found out that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was being open for anyone 12 and older, she said one of her birthday wishes was to get the vaccine.

The school district made that wish a reality on June 3 when it hosted a vaccine clinic at the high school. All of the vaccines administered that day were the Pfizer vaccine.

“Now, I am going to be one step closer to being safe, and I know now that I am helping the world return back to normal,” Everson said as she waited on the bleachers for the prescribed 15 minutes after being inoculated. “I’m super excited for that, because I miss my friends.”

One of the things Everson said she is looking forward to about being fully vaccinated — she will receive the second shot on June 23 — is to not wear a mask.

“Masks are kind of hard to breathe in, like when you wear them for a long amount of time,” she said.

Everson’s mother, Lea Thornton, said she was excited when she heard that her daughter wanted to get the vaccine.

“Generally, I think it was a really grown-up decision to actually want to get the vaccinate, and I’m really proud of her for making the decision,” Thornton said.

She said it is something she and her daughter have been anticipating.

“We have been talking about it for quite some time, and we have been waiting for them to say 12 and up, let’s go,” Thornton said.

Among those also getting the vaccine were 15-year-old Angelica Torres and her 12-year-old brother, A.J.

“Honestly, I thought it was better for me to get my vaccine, because it just doesn’t benefit me; it benefits others,” the 15-year-old said. “I’m not most likely to get it, and I play sports, so I don’t want to risk my team or me having to quarantine.”

Torres admitted to being nervous because she doesn’t like shots, but she said she barely felt the needle going into her arm.

“It just felt like, ‘Oh, it happened,’” she said.

Her mother, Edna Torres, said after doing the research, signing up her children to get the vaccine came with no hesitation.

“We registered them on the same day that they offered it,” Edna Torres said.

She said she believes that more people should take advantage when the school district opens up vaccine clinics such as the one on June 3.

Deputy Superintendent Rick Kirkpatrick said more than 200 people pre-registered for the vaccine clinic, and the hospital provided enough for walk-ins as well.

“Today, we’ve had a great response from kids,” Kirkpatrick said. “I think word’s getting out there; I think people are understanding that there’s nothing to fear.”

Copperas Cove ISD has opened its facilities to host numerous vaccine and testing clinics in partnership with Coryell Health as well as the city of Copperas Cove.

“When they opened the window of vaccines to 12 to 15 year-olds, we saw an opportunity to get more of our students vaccinated, so we jumped on it,” Kirkpatrick said. 

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