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Push begins to get Northeast Ohio's college kids and teens vaccinated

The emphasis on getting more youngsters vaccinated is due to the more contagious UK variant of the virus that's now in Ohio.

KENT, Ohio — Local colleges and universities are starting to fire up their COVID-19 vaccine clinics this week and strongly encouraging their students to get vaccinated. 

On Wednesday, Baldwin Wallace kicked off their clinic, with Bowling Green and Kent State set to open their vaccination sites on Thursday.

RELATED: Kent State University announces COVID-19 vaccine clinics beginning Thursday, April 8

Most universities are giving out the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

So far only Cleveland State has said vaccines will be mandatory next fall for those living on campus.

In a letter to students, Kent State University says the Ohio Department of Health considers the Kent Campus a hot spot of increased transmission, and there's more concern because of the more contagious UK variant now present in Ohio. 

This variant is impacting younger people at a much higher rate. One likely reason is because many are not vaccinated. And Governor DeWine is encouraging parents to get their teens the shot too.

Lorain County has already started vaccinating Lorain High School students who qualify and soon they'll do Oberlin too. As of now they've given 450 vaccinations to 16 and 17-year-olds countywide.

That age group is only allowed to get the Pfizer vaccine. They also must have parental consent and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when getting the vaccine.

However, the Lorain Health Commissioner tells 3News' Monica Robins that maybe as early as next week, the Ohio Department of Health will sign off on students just needing a permission slip if they're getting their vaccine in school by the health department.

As for parents of teens, the Governor says the state will re-emphasize that providers advertise which type of vaccine they're carrying, but for now, you'll need to call around and ask, but you may want to start with your child's pediatrician.

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