County of Santa Clara Public Health Department and Santa Clara County Office of Education Launch School-Based Vaccine Clinics for Children Ages 5 to 11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2021

Katherine R. Smith Elementary School to be the first of dozens of school vaccination locations with many in disproportionately affected neighborhoods

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA. – The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, has opened the first of what will be dozens of COVID-19 vaccination clinics at school campuses, starting with those located in neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the virus. One of the first school locations to begin providing COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11 is Katherine R. Smith Elementary School in San José on November 4.  The Centers for Disease Control approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11 on November 2.

Starting this week, the Public Health Department’s Mobile Vaccination Unit will host vaccination clinics geared toward reaching children 5-11 at school campuses and community sites.  This countywide effort prioritizes schools in communities with high ratios of COVID-19 transmission to community vaccination rates. School locations were selected utilizing Census Track data to identify neighborhoods where vaccinations numbers have traditionally trailed other areas. Three weeks after an initial vaccine clinic on campus, the Mobile Vaccination Teams will return to provide second doses. Ahead of the clinics, parents will receive packets of information about what to expect and required forms for vaccination. Parents or legal representatives must provide consent for their child to be vaccinated. 

Since May 2021 when vaccines became available for ages 12+, the County has run vaccination clinics at 82 school campuses, with dozens more on the calendar in the coming weeks. These school-based clinics are being offered specifically for the students and families of the selected school. The County will also host “magnet” vaccination sites tailored specially to serving all children and families in the surrounding community.  

“These school-based vaccination clinics bring COVID vaccines directly to school communities, providing a critical layer of protection for children and families,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Director of the Public Health Department and Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “We know the COVID vaccines are safe and effective for kids ages 5 and older, and we want to make it as easy as possible for kids to get vaccinated. These clinics provide better accessibility for many working parents and guardians and eliminates the need to them to take additional time off work.”

“Vaccinated students will be able to participate in more activities and events,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Superintendent of Schools in Santa Clara County. “Getting vaccinated helps keep students in in-person school, reducing the risk that they will have to stay at home away from school after exposure to someone with COVID-19.”

Parents who are interested in getting their child vaccinated can access vaccines at their doctors’ offices, pharmacies, community clinics or at County vaccination sites. Vaccination information, appointments and drop-in locations may be found at www.sccfreevax.org.

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