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Students and parents in Chico react to vaccine eligibility expansion

Some students at schools like Chico High School can now get their coronavirus shot and some are hoping this will give them a sense of normalcy.

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 5:26 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2021 7:37 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - As we reopen many families are wondering what's next for their kids, especially when it comes to vaccines and school.

Many students at schools like Chico High can now get their coronavirus shot and some are hoping this will give them their life back.

"I'd get it if it meant going back to full-time," said freshman, Brendan Henman. 

"It makes me feel happy, I'd feel safer going to school once I get it," said sophomore, Saylum Berg. 

Both Henman and Berg attend Chico High, they said they'd get vaccinated if it meant they could enjoy all of their high school activities again.

"I'd like to experience high school dances, and regular football games and sporting events," said Henman.

Some parents like Brendan's mom are still hesitant.

"It's so new, I worry about the side effects for my child," said Evangelina Henman.

Action News Now asked Chico Unified school officials what the new vaccine eligibility means for the district.

"Right now we are looking forward to students being vaccinated it really is student choice at this point," said Diane Olsen, the Director of Student Support Services.

When asked if this could be something that could be a requirement for schools, Olsen said, "we haven't had time to review policies for this, we need to talk to Butte County Public health, we always follow their recommendations. We will also see what the school board decides to do when it comes to requiring it."

School board member, Matt Tennis said he thinks vaccines should be a choice.

"We want to reach herd immunity but I don't think kids should be required to get the vaccine in order to be at school," said Tennis.

The next Chico Unified School board meeting is scheduled for April 7. 

In Butte County, people ages 16 and 17 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

Those 18 years and older are eligible for the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but Butte County Public Health said doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are limited at this time and may not be available.

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