Columbus City Schools is launching COVID vaccination clinics for all students 16 and older beginning Monday.
There are 8,000 students age 16 and above in the district, and there will be enough Pfizer doses to innoculate 6,000, District Health, Family and Community Services director Dr. Kate King says vaccinating young people is part of the overall pandemic battle.
"Certainly we know about vaccine hesitancy. We also know that vaccines save lives, not only of the person getting the vaccine, but they are also really the only way to break the chain of transmission. This is how we're going to achieve herd immunity."
CCS has emailed links to an online registration portal for permission and appointments. Students who have parental consent will travel with their classroom cohort to clinics run by Columbus Public Health and Nationwide Children's Hospital at Beechcroft, Briggs, Independence and Whetstone High Schools. King says it's important to start immediately.
"We know through research that vaccine clinics have the best results when we're vaccinating kids who are already in school. We've been running mass vaccination clinics for many, many years. We do flu shots every year in school, we do T-dap and meningitis every year in school, so this is nothing really new to us in terms of the research and how we do that."
Cohort A, students in classrooms Mondays and Tuesdays, will be scheduled April 26-27. Students in Cohort B, who attend classes Thursdays and Fridays, will be scheduled April 29-30. The COVID vaccination clinics are open to all Columbus City Schools students, whether they are in classrooms or working remotely. Second shots will be scheduled for the week of May 17th.
Nationwide Children's director of school health and mobile clinics Dr. Sara Bode says the regional goal is get a vaccine to every student who wants one by the beginning of the next school year.
More information is available at the district website.