Lawrence High students relieved to receive COVID-19 vaccine


Kenna McNally

Senior Donnavan Dillon receives the second vaccine dose to protect against COVID-19 on March 26. Dillon received the first shot after volunteering a county vaccination clinic at the Douglas County Fairgrounds earlier in the month.

By Tessa Collar, Staff Writer

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine following months of anticipation, some LHS students were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Before Kansas opened up vaccines to people 16 and older, several Lawrence High students were able to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Some were given the opportunity after volunteering at the Douglas County vaccination clinic, while others received the vaccine due to their workplace. 

Senior Abby Lingwall was able to receive the vaccine because her job puts her at higher risk.

 “I work in food service, so I was able to get vaccinated during Phase 2,” Lingwall said. “I wasn’t surprised per se, but I was excited to be receiving [the vaccine] pretty early on.”

Lingwall is able to spend time with others that are also vaccinated and continue to follow safety guidelines from the CDC. 

“My two closest friends and I are all vaccinated, so following information from the CDC we are able to spend time together without masks,” Lingwall said. “I will continue to wear a mask at work and in any spaces where I’m around people I don’t live with.”

Junior Kenna McNally receives the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on March 26. Pfizer is approved for ages 16 and up. McNally received her first shot after volunteering at a county vaccination clinic at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. (Donnavan Dillon)

Some students were able to receive the Pfizer vaccine after volunteering at the Douglas County vaccination clinic when there were leftover doses that had to be used before they expired. 

“At the end of clinics we work through a standby list of people from the current eligible phase,” said communications officer for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, George Diepenbrock. “The priority is also not to waste the doses, and sometimes the option is a volunteer who has worked for several hours and contributed to this extensive community effort to vaccinate as many people as quickly as we can.”

Anis Abughalia, a senior, was glad to be able to be vaccinated after a volunteer shift.

“I was pretty happy about it,” Abughalia said. “Some of my family members were at risk so that comforted them quite a bit.”

Senior Reece Wohlford also received the vaccine after volunteering at the clinic.  

Wohlford emphasized the importance of choosing to be vaccinated when given the opportunity. 

“It is absolutely essential to get the vaccine if you’re offered it,” Wohlford said. “If getting a shot decreases the chance of sickness for yourself (and others!) then I think it’s foolish and selfish not to.”

Wohlford said getting vaccinated presents a safe way to begin to return to a pre-COVID world. 

“I understand the hesitancy but I also truly believe [the vaccine] safe and effective,” Wohlford said. “And after this horrible year, I know I’d take that small level of risk if it meant hope down the road.”

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