SAN ANTONIO – With COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 5 to 11 expected to be approved in a matter of days, local school districts are making plans to vaccinate students.
One of the largest school districts in our area, San Antonio ISD, said it has identified some partners to help with the vaccinations and hopes to get as many young kids vaccinated before the end of the year.
“We already have plans underway, and our focus, of course, will be to try to get as many students in that 5- to 11-year-old group vaccinated as possible. We’re preparing to have some outreach to parents,” said Toni Thompson, associate superintendent of Human Capital Management at SAISD.
San Antonio ISD said it is teaming up with STAAMP Allergy. Thompson said the clinic has already worked with the district to offer vaccines in the past.
“We probably will do most of them at pop-up sites. So, for instance, Alamo Convocation Center, which is somewhat centralized, but plenty of parking, easy to access, and it’s close to the STAAMP clinic office in case they needed to go back in and secure more vaccines,” Thompson said.
Thompson said district leaders hope to get kids vaccinated starting in early November.
“These clinics that we’re in the process of scheduling now will probably run from about 3 to 6, or 3 to 7, to make it more convenient for parents to get there. We will offer transportation if that’s needed. We’ll also host some on Saturdays to make it more convenient for parents,” Thompson said.
Thompson said young children count for most of the district’s COVID positive cases, and it’s crucial they get vaccinated.
“We know that the vast majority of our students need to be attending school in-person, so that’s first and foremost. Secondly, we want to make sure that they’re safe, that they’re healthy, that our staff members are safe and healthy and protected. But then the third is that it just offers some stability for parents because every time a child has to stay home -- because the child ends up testing positive or a child has to quarantine because they were a high-risk exposure -- that means parents have to stay home,” Thompson said.
The district is planning to host meetings for parents to ask questions they may have regarding the vaccine.
SAISD said it is finalizing plans to partner with UT Health San Antonio in collaboration with the University of the Incarnate Word and Health Collaborative.