With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for younger children, many elementary schools around the US are preparing to offer the shots, which educators see as key to keeping students learning in person and making the classroom experience closer to what it once was.

Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics on campus, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to improving access and helping overcome hesitancy — particularly in communities with low overall vaccination rates.

Still, many school systems are choosing not to offer elementary schools as hosts for vaccination sites after some middle and high schools that offered shots received pushback.

More than 250 families signed up for vaccinations that began, Thursday, at elementary schools in Duluth, Minnesota, which organized clinics immediately after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s child-size COVID-19 shot for children ages five to 11. Superintendent John Magas called the vaccines a “game changer.”

“This brings us one step closer to moving from pandemic to endemic,” Magas said. “It allows us to reconsider things like social distancing and masking and things like that as safety permits.”

The Biden administration plans to send a letter to US elementary schools in the next week asking them to host clinics. The Education Department is also urging schools to host town halls and webinars at which parents can talk to doctors about the vaccine.

Districts that have held or are planning clinics for younger children span Alaska to Vermont, said Hayley Meadvin, an Education Department senior adviser. Where schools choose not to host clinics, families can turn to doctor’s offices, hospitals and other sites.

“There are many points of access, and there’s no wrong door, honestly,” Meadvin said.

In Ohio, some school districts offered on-site clinics for older students, but Rick Lewis, director of the Ohio School Boards Association, said they haven’t heard from any districts planning them for younger students. He noted the CDC encourages districts to consider factors like local needs for school clinics and adequate community support.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

Never forget the Associated Press are Scumbags with an Agenda (IMHO). And it seems the educational system shares that agenda with the AP. Covid is not a threat to young children...some POS teacher (and teachers union) with an agenda...is. Money is their God...and they will hurt whoever they have to acquire it.... Because that's how trash rolls....Now Mask Up and Kneel.. Cowards...The teachers need a pay raise.

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