Davis Joint Unified School District Superintendent says that vaccines are an important part of making in-person schooling safer
On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds. Since then, Yolo County has run several vaccine clinics targeted toward that age group, according to Yolo County On-Call Public Information Officer Frank Schneegas.
“We did a clinic at Woodland high school on Friday [May] 14—of course that one was for people below the age of 18, although we did vaccinate parents as well,” Schneegas said.
Schneegas added that adolescents in the 12 to 15 age group can get vaccinated at any clinic that offers the Pfizer vaccine.
“We’ll vaccinate anyone 12-15 who is with a parent, has a consent form or is able to give verbal consent from a parent over the phone or whatnot, as long as we have Pfizer,” Schneegas said. “So those are the clinics that we’ve focused on for that age group, but any clinic where we have Pfizer, we’re still vaccinating people in that age group. Those aren’t the only ones, those are just the biggest ones and the most targeted ones.”
A large number of adolescents have been vaccinated, Schneegas explained via email.
“Between Thursday and Sunday we have vaccinated 2,200 people between 12-15 years of age,” Schneegas said via email. “52% of Yolo residents have received at least one dose of vaccine.”
Schneegas explained that the overall vaccination rate in Yolo County is relatively high.
“We’ve managed to vaccinate a large portion of the county—that also includes 83% of ag workers,” Schneegas said. “I think we are ahead of the state average and ahead of surrounding counties, such as Solano.”
Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) Superintendent John Bowes explained that vaccines for students ages 12 to 15 can become part of a strategy to make the return to in-person school safer.
“We’re encouraging anyone and everyone who is eligible for a vaccine to get a vaccination, and that is part of a purposeful strategy to develop multiple layers of safety protections and protocols built into our systems so we can decrease the spread of COVID-19 in our community and have safe classrooms for teachers and staff,” Bowes said. “So there are a couple of things we can all do, and it’s sort of this idea of a Swiss Cheese model of protective layers, both personal and shared responsibilities.”
Although he encourages eligible individuals to get vaccinated, Bowes said that receiving a COVID-19 vaccination would likely not be required for the return to DJUSD schools in the fall.
“[Mandating the COVID-19 vaccine] would take a couple of actions by state organizations and federal groups,” Bowes said. “First, the vaccines currently in use are emergency-use-authorization approved; they would need to be fully approved by the [FDA], and then the California legislature and the governor would need to agree to add any fully FDA approved vaccinations to the list of required vaccinations for entry into California public schools.”
Written by: Rachel Shey — email@example.com