SDUSD Looking to Expand Vaccine Clinics To Middle Schools Once Pfizer Shot is Fully Approved

The FDA approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15 years old, but San Diego Unified School District is waiting on approval from the Western States Work Group and the county

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The San Diego Unified School District is building a network of on-campus COVID-19 vaccination sites to try and get shots in the arms of high school students 16 and older, and the list of sites could grow to include middle schools with full approval for 12 to 15-year-olds coming as soon as Thursday.

You can find dates and locations for the high school sites here, but for now, let's hear what students and parents say about vaccinations.

The San Diego Unified School District has partnered with UC San Diego Health and Sharp HealthCare to host free COVID-19 vaccination clinics starting Monday, reports NBC 7's Rory Devine.

The walk-in clinic at Canyon Hills High School — formerly Serra High School -- was just the convenience Rowena Orila was looking for when she heard the news at work that Pfizer's vaccine received emergency FDA clearance for 12 to 15-year-olds.

“When I got to the house I rushed in and told my sister, ‘Hey! Let’s get Gabe vaccinated," she said.

Gabriel, 13, is the only one in his family who's not yet vaccinated. With a summer trip to Virginia planned, he and his aunt raced to Canyon Hills, one of SDUSD's eight walk-in vaccine clinics, hoping to get his shot.

“I don't want to spread it to my family and everyone else I’m near. I have a grandma I want to take care of and she's really old and I don’t want her to pass away so soon," Gabriel said.

Unfortunately, Gabriel will have to wait a few days. That's because California is part of the Western States Work Group, which independently reviews the vaccine data to make its own approval separate from the FDA. The group is meeting Wednesday and could announce a decision as soon as Thursday. Then it's up to the county to give the all-clear.

But not everyone's anxious to get their kids vaccinated.

One mother told NBC 7 she wouldn’t get her children vaccinated event though she’s already had the shots.

“It hasn’t been out long enough to see any side effects,” she said, noting she got vaccinated "for other reasons."

San Diego Unified School District Board President Richard Barrera said it's the district's goal to reach as many students as possible, starting with expanding their walk-in clinics to middle schools.

“We know in order to reach students being able to offer the vaccine at school is the most trusted and most convenient place to do it, so we intend to be there to offer the vaccine on school campuses," explained Barrera.

Barrera said the district will begin to put their middle school expansion plans in progress once there's county approval.

If that comes this week, immediate vaccine availability for 12 to 15-year-old students would depend on available supply and parental consent

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