The Biden administration said Thursday it is launching an all-out effort to get students 12 and older vaccinated this fall via their school. To achieve this, the administration will promote vaccinations at school physicals, send pediatricians to back-to-school nights to vaccinate, and provide funding for school districts to set up pop-up vaccination clinics.
“These include helping get our young people vaccinated. We’re doubling down to get more students vaccinated as they return to school. We know vaccines are working and they’re the safest and most effective way to fight back COVID-19, to prevent outbreaks, and to ensure a safe school year,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Thursday.
He added, “I am echoing the president’s call to action to host pop-up vaccine clinics in every school across the country, to enlist trusted leaders in our community, to build vaccine confidence.”
In addition, from Aug. 7 through 15, the administration will launch a “week of action” by sending Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Cardona to Topeka, Kansas, to visit a back-to-school vaccine clinic. The initiative will rally school districts, students, teachers, national organizations, local government leaders, businesses, social media influencers, celebrities, and volunteers to promote vaccination.
The effort highlights the steps that President Joe Biden and his team have laid out to get ahead of the transmission of the Delta variant as schools and universities reopen.
“While the Delta variant is providing new challenges, we have the tools, we have the resources, and we have the experience of what worked last year to get it done safely,” said Cardona.
Cardona told reporters that much of the funding to prepare schools to reopen and vaccinate students was allocated in the American Rescue Plan that Congress passed earlier this year.
The Secretary said it will take the whole community to stop the spread, and they need “to get creative with incentives” to promote vaccinations.
According to the Mayo Clinic data, about 15 percent of those under age 18 have received at least one vaccine dose, with over 50 percent for 18- to 24-year-olds.
By Masooma Haq