Students at Broward County Public Schools started to receive their COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday as part of a county-wide program that district board members hope will encourage families to get vaccinated together.
Coconut Creek High School was among the school district’s first six schools to offer a vaccine to students on campus. Video footage provided by the district showed students at Deerfield Beach High School receiving their shot. Click here for a list of locations.
“There are sites open all across the community for all of us to do the right thing to show our love for each other by getting the vaccine," said school board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood.
The district’s effort is taking place as the daily vaccination rate has dropped off, and the FDA is set to approve the Pfizer vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old.
“Schools are the center of communities. They feel safe there, so I think people are more comfortable to go in," said school board member Debra Hixon. "It’s almost much more convenient to be at school. Staff and parents can come with the student.”
Dr. Marcos Mestre with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital said the timing is right, as families decide whether their kids will take part in summer activities and travel. He added the demand for a vaccine among 16-and-17-year-olds has been strong.
And with four in 10 adults still unvaccinated, Dr. Mestre believes the focus needs to remain on those who are hesitant who could keep their kids from getting a vaccine.
“A common reason I hear is that children typically don't get very sick, and that is true, most of the children have done very well with the vaccine, but there are certain children that are higher risk," Dr. Mestre said. "It’s just not just about protecting the child, it’s about protecting others in our community ... They can be spreaders of it especially with those at risk, that is what we are concerned about from a public health standpoint.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools is set to offer a similar vaccination program in the near future.