A COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held March 10 at the Warren Consolidated Schools Performing Arts Center at Sterling Heights High School. Once checked in, a socially distanced line led teachers to the stage where the vaccines were administered.

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held March 10 at the Warren Consolidated Schools Performing Arts Center at Sterling Heights High School. Once checked in, a socially distanced line led teachers to the stage where the vaccines were administered.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


WCS provides COVID-19 vaccination clinic

Second dose clinic scheduled for March 31

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published March 23, 2021

 A clock on the stage was used as each vaccine recipient needed to wait 15 minutes after receiving their shot in case they had a reaction.

A clock on the stage was used as each vaccine recipient needed to wait 15 minutes after receiving their shot in case they had a reaction.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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STERLING HEIGHTS/WARREN — The Warren Consolidated Schools Performing Arts Center was transformed into a vaccination clinic March 10 as more than 200 district employees and their spouses received their first dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.

The district partnered with the Rite Aid Pharmacy located at 12 Mile and Dequindre in Warren roads to administer the vaccine to all WCS employees who were interested. The offer also was extended to their spouses who were age 50 and older.

The Performing Arts Center is housed inside Sterling Heights High School, and the clinic was held from 9 a.m. until noon. While individual time slots were not given, all who scheduled their vaccine ahead of time were guaranteed a spot in line.

District nurse Ann Clark said 245 employees and spouses signed up to receive their first vaccination dose. Those receiving a vaccine were required to fill out paperwork beforehand. The shots were given on the main stage, and patients waited in the auditorium seats for 15 minutes after receiving their shots to make sure they did not have a reaction.

“I think it’s been going really smoothly,” Clark said. “Some people are nervous and some are excited.”

The vaccination clinic was set up one year after Michigan confirmed its first COVID-19 case in the state in March 2020. According to Clark, district Superintendent Robert Livernois and the Board of Education worked with Rite Aid to make the vaccination clinic possible.

Paul Godell, whose wife is a district employee, received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine after standing in line for 20 minutes.

“Like everyone else, you got to get it,” he said. “I don’t want to get sick.”

At the clinic, Godell, whose wife is a cafeteria employee, was told side effects of the vaccine could be a rash, headache and chills.

“It’s worth the risk,” he said. He also said nobody in his family came down COVID-19. However, the pandemic did affect his employment.

“With the economy being messed up, I did lose a job,” Godell said. About 85 employees in his automotive engineering company were let go in June. “You could kind of see it coming. The workload was less and less. We were building an electric vehicle and they shut us down. They had to make some cuts. You worry about your future, paying your bills. Insurance is a big one.”

He was able to find a job in November and has been working steady since.

“It seems like we are turning a corner,” Godell said. “Things will get better.”

Frank Cass was another WCS spouse that came to the clinic to get his first dose of the vaccine.

“It’s supposed to be a lot quicker than everywhere else,” Cass said. He said he was told to drink plenty of fluids before getting his shot and “make sure you’re not sick.”

Kevin McClosky, who has an underlying medical condition as he is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, received his first dose at the clinic. His wife, a secretary in the district, had already received her shots at the Macomb County Health Department in Mount Clemens.

“She had two doses with no symptoms. She’s doing great. For a 59-year-old I’m good. I wasn’t nervous at all,” he said after receiving his first shot. “This is so well-run. This is so organized. I’m very impressed with how it’s going.”

A friend’s father died from COVID-19.

“It was a sad time. You couldn’t go into the hospital,” he said of his friend.

As for the COVID-19 pandemic lasting one year, “It’s hard to believe,” McClosky said. “People are getting anxious. People want to live again. I think we’re starting to get to that herd immunity.”

McClosky also has no issue with anyone who has chosen not to receive the vaccine.

“If they don’t want it, they don’t want it,” McClosky said.  “I’m glad I did it, but if people don’t, that’s their prerogative.”

Rich Byrnes, whose wife teaches at Grissom Middle School, stood in line about 30 minutes before getting his poke.

“A quick, little prick and I was done. I think everyone should be getting them. It’s the right decision. I think everyone is pretty happy to be here,” Byrnes said. “I’m a firm believer in the vaccine. We need to get this coronavirus under control.”

The second doses will be given March 31.

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