The father of a Littleton Public Schools student who filmed himself misleading health staff to see if he could get a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic using space in an LPS high school said the intention of the video was to shut down the clinic and the prevent similar ones in the future.
Gregg McGough, the father of 15-year-old Owen McGough, sent the video filmed by his son to a right-wing Twitter account, “Libs of Tik Tok.” The video showed his son, who in the video used a fake name, handing staff a fake parental consent form at a vaccine clinic at Heritage High School on Jan. 21.
A similar video was filmed by a different LPS student who lied about their age in order to be offered a vaccine without parental consent.
Neither student ended up being vaccinated, the videos show. But the students’ ability to bypass rules preventing minors from getting vaccinated without proper consent caused backlash for the Littleton school district, whose superintendent said it will stop hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
“Schools are where education is supposed to be happening. Schools are not about public health environments, which is what they’ve become,” Gregg McGough said in an interview.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it believed the videos were designed to bring down vaccination efforts at schools, which they said were “an important way the state ensures access to COVID-19 vaccines in places that are convenient. “
The clinic on Jan. 21 was run by Tri-County Health and staffed by employees from Jogan Health, a contractor with CDPHE.
Becky O’Guin, spokesperson for Tri-County Health, defended the vaccine staff and said the videos pose a threat to vaccine accessibility for those who want it.
“Our judgment is that state protocols appear to have been followed in assessing appropriateness of offering vaccination,” she said in an email, adding the videos are “hurting those in our community who want and need easier access to the vaccine for themselves and their children and will now have to find another vaccine location.”
Coloradans under 18 need parental consent to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Colorado Sun contributed to this report.