covid-19 vaccine

School Districts Offer COVID-19 Vaccines to Eligible Students

Dallas ISD and Arlington ISD offer rides and/or clinics for students and families

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The push to get the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of all eligible North Texans ages 12 and up continues.

Two of the area's largest school districts are doing what they can before school lets out for the summer.

On a day when Arlington ISD allowed students to stay home and work Monday, many, instead, chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Arlington fire department, one of the area's first vaccine providers, hosted students 12 and older and their parents, in addition to Arlington ISD staff, interested in getting their first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations.

"We know that they learn best in the classroom and that's where we want all our students in the fall," said Arlington ISD superintendent Marcelo Cavazos.

A similar effort in Dallas where some Dallas ISD students, old enough to get the shot and who had their parent's permission, were bused from their school campus to a Dallas County Health Department vaccine hub.

While there is no shortage of supply, there is still plenty of concern among parents, according to Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children's Health and Professor at UT Southwestern Dr. Jeffrey Kahn.

"I've been struck by a lot of the feedback we are hearing," said Dr. Kahn, "but we are reaching a point where we have a mountain of data that supports this vaccine."

Beyond the hesitancy is concern of accessibility.

Once school is out, public health leaders will rely on parents to bring their children to vaccine hubs, pop-up clinics or pharmacies.

It may be several weeks before local pediatricians can get vaccine supplies into their offices.

There's also a concern about protecting children too young to get the vaccine from infection or infecting others.

"Particularly if you have someone in your household prone to the virus, immunosuppressed, even if they got immunized and not sure if they responded well to the vaccine, it's very important those children don't bring the virus back home," said Kahn.

The CDC says children in K thru 12 schools should continue to wear masks for the remainder of the school year.

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