July 21 is last day to have Helena-area students fully vaccinated before school

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A nurse holds up a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination.


July 21 is the last day for Helena-area students to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in time to be fully vaccinated before the first day of school, local public health officials said.

“Parents are quickly running out of time to ensure their kids are fully protected from COVID-19,” Lewis and Clark County Health Officer Drenda Niemann said in a press release. “The Pfizer vaccine requires five weeks to build full protection – three weeks between first and second doses, and two full weeks after the second dose.”

The first day of school is scheduled for Aug. 26 for East Helena Public Schools and Aug. 30 for Helena Public Schools.

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Of the three vaccines currently approved for use in the United States to combat COVID-19, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 12 and older. Vaccines are

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