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Harrison students work to organize COVID-19 vaccine clinic ahead of football game

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Two girls at Harrison High School have worked in collaboration with North Arkansas Regional Medical Center to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic before Harrison’s football game Friday.

The clinic will be open to all eligible for vaccination. Those who get a shot or show proof of vaccination will be placed in a raffle for an all-season pass to Harrison’s sporting events.

Lauren Tapely and Attalie Bardwell have taken on a project to host a vaccine clinic before Harrison’s football game Friday against Farmington.

Both girls have been vaccinated so that they can stay in school, along with other reasons.

“I wanted to get vaccinated for cheer so that I could go to all of the games,” said Bardwell. “My brother is a senior this year, so I want to be able to go to all of the games and cheer him on.”

“I got vaccinated for my family. My sister has asthma and my mother has an auto-immune disease,” said Tapely.

They are in a program called EAST: Education Advanced through Service and Technology.

“In our EAST classroom, we like to do projects that help benefit our community,” said Tapely. “At first we just thought of it as a really fun project that we could do, but have since received a lot of positive feedback from people.”

The two said the idea was inspired from a press conference during which Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke about vaccine accessibility within school districts.

Setting the event up was no small feat. The two have partnered with North Arkansas Regional Medical Center to have someone who would administer the shots. The girls took care of the rest, a prime example of youth in action.

”They actually came to us with this idea. They initiated the idea and we were lucky enough to collaborate with them,” said Josh Maloney, Pharmacist Manager with NARMC. “We’ve done several clinics like this with schools, but this is the first time we’ve had students be the driving force of one.”

Maloney went on to speak about how inspiring it was to have the two students want to host the event.

“For the medical community, it feels like we’ve been at this for a long time,” he explained. “To see these two young people to do everything they can to expand vaccine access to their community is truly commendable.”

The vaccine clinic, which will be at the football field, begins at 5 p.m. Friday. The first 25 participants get a free burger courtesy of the Harrison Booster Club and Equity Bank.

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