Many elementary schools around the United States are prepared to deliver the dosages, which educators view as important to keeping students in the classroom and getting it closer to what it used to be.
According to some district administrators, having vaccination clinics on campus with the backing of trusted school workers is crucial to improving access and overcoming hesitancy, especially in areas with low overall immunization rates.
Schools Take the Lead in Promoting Childhood Vaccinations
Despite this, several school districts are declining to use elementary schools as vaccination sites after receiving negative feedback from middle and high schools that have done so.
More than 250 families registered for vaccinations at Duluth elementary schools, which began on Thursday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. Superintendent John Magas describes the vaccines as a “game-changer.”
In the next week, the Biden administration plans to send a letter to all U.S. primary schools, requesting that they organize clinics. The Department of Education is also asking schools to hold town hall meetings and webinars where parents may ask physicians questions about the vaccination.
According to Hayley Meadvin, an Education Department senior adviser, districts from Alaska to Vermont have hosted or are planning clinics for younger students.
“There are a lot of ways to go in, and there’s no incorrect door,” Melvin added.
Some school districts in Ohio have offered on-site clinics for older children, but the Ohio School Boards Association’s Rick Lewis said he hasn’t heard of any districts planning them for younger pupils. When making selections, the CDC recommends districts to consider local needs for school clinics as well as enough community support, he added.
School vaccine efforts have been faced with opposition and protests in Ohio and elsewhere, and some opponents say they anticipate the pressure to continue as the immunization push shifts to younger students.
Sarah Kenney of the organization Mainers for Health and Parental Rights feels that schools should stay out of the vaccination controversy and should not even address it with young children. She is concerned about its novelty and the possibility of long-term adverse effects.
After testing 3,100 immunized youngsters, the FDA determined that the vaccinations were safe.
Kenney was also concerned about the stigma attached to children who do not receive vaccinations.
For their children’s immunizations, parents must sign a consent form. Immunizations are usually administered before or after school in coordination with local hospitals and government health officials.
The third-largest school system in the country, Chicago Public Schools, suspended classes on Nov. 12 to allow parents to have their children vaccinated by a healthcare professional or at a school-based facility.
Following California’s decision to make immunizations obligatory for children, Portland is among the districts contemplating doing the same. A handful of demonstrators disrupted a recent board of education meeting to examine that possibility. As a result, said Courtney Westling, the district’s director of government relations, security will be present at the immunization clinics, and their hours and dates will not be advertised outside of the local community.