Nov 7, 2021 - Health

Schools across the U.S. offer COVID vaccine drives

Children wait in line to receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic at an elementary school in San Jose, California.

Children wait in line to receive a dose of a coronavirus vaccine at an elementary school in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 4. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

School districts across the U.S. have begun offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's approval of the shot for younger patients, AP reports.

Why it matters: Many parents eagerly awaited the vaccine's approval for children ages 5-11, as the return to in-person schooling this fall was accompanied by a spike in COVID-19 cases. Now, educators see getting shots in children's arms as key to a return to normalcy in the classroom.

  • More than 250 families signed up for vaccinations through a clinic at an elementary school in Duluth, Minn., which began administering doses on Thursday.
  • Chicago Public Schools announced it is canceling school on Nov. 12 for "Vaccination Awareness Day" — an effort to boost vaccination rates among eligible students.
  • More than 30 D.C. public schools are also offering pop-up clinics in the coming weeks for first doses, with the earliest coming on Sunday, writes Axios D.C. author Chelsea Cirruzzo.

President Biden has encouraged schools to offer vaccine clinics as part of an administration push to get people vaccinated.

Yes, but: Schools offering the vaccine drives have faced pushback as politics have come to the forefront, writes AP. Misinformation surrounding the drives also has eroded trust between school districts and parents.

What they're saying: "This brings us one step closer to moving from pandemic to endemic," Minnesota superintendent John Magas said. "It allows us to reconsider things like social distancing and masking and things like that as safety permits," he added.

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