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‘It’s important to be part of the bigger solution’ | Cabarrus County high schoolers get vaccinated

Kannapolis City Schools and the Cabarrus Health Alliance brought shots directly to students on Friday.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Students have made so many adjustments during the last two school years, but with COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone 16 years and older, there is some hope for normalcy on the horizon. Many teachers have already gotten their COVID-19 shot, too.

Kids 16 years and older are only able to get the Pfizer vaccine, so Kannapolis City Schools made it easy for students by bringing the shots directly to them. They hosted a clinic at A.L. Brown High School on Friday, with help from the Cabarrus Health Alliance.

Students are juggling a lot right now, between balancing in-person and online learning.

“It's been wild,” Joseph Doyle, a junior at West Cabarrus High School said about attending school online. “It's just really different. I’ve never done anything like it before."

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Students have adapted to a new way of learning, and many wonder when it will go back to the way it was.

“It feels weird because I’m almost halfway done with high school already, but I feel like I haven't had the normal high school experience,” Gracelyn Hinson, a sophomore, said.

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Health experts emphasize vaccines are key in rolling back restrictions and school leaders wanted to help out, making it more convenient for the students who are eligible to get the shot.

“If all the kids come in for a classroom, then they're not going to be able to social distance so being vaccinated gives the students some confidence and the teachers some confidence,” superintendent Dr. Chip Buckwell said.

The school district offered Pfizer at the clinic and allowed walk-in appointments not just for students, but for their families and the general public.

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan. 

Many of the students said they were excited to roll up their sleeves.

“I’m ready to get back to normal life, and I just feel like it’s important to be part of the bigger solution,” Hinson said. 

RELATED: US officials: Anxiety drove COVID-19 vaccine reactions in 5 states, including NC

Even partially protected, she said she'll feel a lot safer going to school.

Many students hope talking with their friends about the experience will encourage them to get the shot too.

“I would say do it if you can because you're just going to help other people around you,” Doyle said.

The Cabarrus Health Alliance will hold another clinic Friday, May 7, at West Cabarrus High School in Concord. It’s another Pfizer clinic and is also open to the public.

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.