After federal OK, EBR students 12 and up can get COVID-19 vaccination through school system
BATON ROUGE - The school year may be coming to an end, but the effort to vaccinate school-aged children is ramping up after a CDC advisory committee signed off on allowing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to be used on children 12 and up.
"This is one of the keystones that we've been waiting for to occur, where our students - more and more students - can receive the vaccine," said Stacy Dupre, chief officer for support and special projects for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools.
Children aged 12 to 15 will be able to get Pfizer's shots beginning Thursday. The Louisiana Department of Health will issue formal guidance for the group totaling roughly 250,000 then.
Before health advisors gave the expansion the green light, anyone 16 and older could get Pfizer's vaccine.
Last week, the EBR school system started holding school vaccine events and is planning for more at several high school campuses.
"When it's at a school event, we require a consent form to be signed by the parent with the student's demographic information," Dupre said. "We contact the parent to confirm that they signed it."
When asked Wednesday afternoon about its plans for students who will be newly eligible for the vaccine, an Ascension Parish school system spokesperson said the system "will follow guidance from LDH and BESE."
A Livingston Parish schools spokesperson said the same. The system "will continue to follow state DOE guidelines and directives."
"At this time," the spokesperson added, "there is no indication from the state that districts will provide this service."
In East Baton Rouge, students will return Aug. 11. Most students attend in person now, and that's not expected to change.
Days after the school board voted to expand virtual learning options for all students, officials say they hope expanded vaccine eligibility will give parents, teachers and families peace of mind so students can return to more normal education and extra-curricular activities.
"That gives them a better sense of security and safety in the school," Dupre said. "It also gives them a more open idea to come back full-time, all the time, all students."
EBR School and Community vaccine events:
Thursday, May 13:
Baton Rouge Magnet High, 9a-12p
Liberty High, 9a-12p
Friday, May 14:
Broadmoor High, 8a-11a
Glen Oaks High, 8a-11a
McKinley High, 12p-3p
Scotlandville High, 1p-5p
Saturday, May 15:
Woodlawn High, 10a-1p
Jefferson Terrace Academy, 10a-1p
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