San Diego, CA–San Diego Unified School District is providing new opportunities for students, staff, families, and community members to receive free COVID-19 vaccines at schools throughout the district to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and maintain a safe learning environment.
Beginning this week and into December, a Vaccine Van operated by UC San Diego Health will make stops around the district. All vaccines are available at the mobile unit, including booster shots, vaccines for adults, and vaccines for children ages five to 18.
The Vaccine Van schedule of stops will be updated on the district’s COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
“We have a great opportunity now to extend protections to nearly all of our students and staff,” Board of Education President Richard Barrera said. “By making COVID vaccines easily available and accessible to all of our students, staff, parents, and community members, we will move closer to ending this pandemic, and ensuring that we can keep our kids safely in school.”
The Vaccine Van will offer first- and second-dose shots of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Johnson & Johnson vaccines, booster shots, and vaccines for children aged five to 18. No appointments are necessary, although children under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian present. The exception is that students at the hosting school can receive a vaccine without a parent present with a signed parental consent form.
San Diego Unified is also working with school-based health centers in seven parts of the city to provide vaccination opportunities to students and families. Unlike the van, appointments are required at the seven school-based health centers. Information for these health centers, as well as copies of parent consent forms, can be found on the district COVID-19 Vaccine webpage<https://sites.google.com/sandi.net/nursingwellness/covid-19-vaccine>.
The latest vaccine recommendation from the CDC means the vast majority of students in kindergarten through high school are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, signaling a major step toward preventing the spread of the virus in our community and nationwide.
“At this juncture, school-age children remain the highest proportion of those who are unvaccinated,” said district pediatrician Dr. Howard Taras. “Getting them vaccinated is now a community priority. But no parent should think of vaccinating their child as something to do only because it helps the general society. Getting a vaccine benefits each individual child who receives it.”
Under a vaccine mandate approved by the Board of Education, San Diego Unified will require students who are 16 and older and who wish to continue learning in-person to be fully vaccinated at the start of the new semester/quarter.
Students ages five to 15 are recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the FDA and the CDC. San Diego Unified supports this recommendation, but will not require the COVID-19 vaccination for this student group at this time.
In addition to district resources, families can also visit MyTurn.ca.gov<http://myturn.ca.gov> for information about getting a vaccine at Rady Children’s Hospital through walk-in and scheduled appointments.