Hosting Vaccination Events At Your Schools

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Hosting Vaccination Events At Your Schools

Thank you for your dedication and flexibility as you’ve adjusted to keep serving our children and communities.  

Yesterday I updated you on the $500,000 in education scholarships available to your students under the “Take Your Shot, Oregon” campaign.

Today, I’m writing about how with CDC approval of the Pfizer vaccine for youth age 12 and up, schools have a new tool to serve the community. 

Hosting Vaccination Events

Many schools throughout the state have already held COVID-19 vaccination clinics with great success. Schools have partnered with health care providers like Community Health Centers and their local public health to bring the vaccines and workforce into school settings. 

Some have added a spirit of community and celebration to the events to further encourage participation. The Friday Night Lights event in The Dalles featured pizza, prize drawings, music and resulted in some 240 students and community members getting their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

I strongly encourage you to make your facilities available for vaccination events and assist with publicity and scheduling. If you’re interested in hosting vaccination clinics in your district, talking to your local public health authority is a good first place to start. The Oregon Health Authority can also help coordinate clinics for you.

Many school leaders and parents have questions about consent for vaccination. COVID-19 puts people of all ages at risk. We want every eligible Oregonian who can, to get vaccinated without barriers, including young adults who are 15 or older. State law gives 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds the right to consent to medical care, including vaccines. OHA expects providers to respect a young person’s decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  

Many families are eager to get their children vaccinated. We’re finding that many family members are deciding to get vaccinated at the same time as their youth, so please welcome family members at school-based vaccination services whenever possible. A lot of people have questions and that’s OK. OHA is working to provide increasing amounts of vaccine to primary care clinics and other trusted sites where people can get their questions addressed.

For families with children under age 12, please ask them to get their children caught up on their routine vaccinations now and not wait until late summer. It is possible that younger children will be eligible for COVID vaccine sometime later this year, and it will be good to get those other vaccinations out of the way before then. It will also help your child’s health care provider manage the workload of vaccinating large numbers of children against COVID.

Resources and Toolkits

OHA is here to help you inform your community and get their questions answered. The Oregon Health Authority website has resources and toolkits at your disposal. OHA can also arrange for speakers from your local public health department or a doctor from a local healthcare facility to answer questions from your community members. Please contact your local health authority if this type of support would be helpful.

Medical experts continue to tell us the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. And they’re free. It’s up to each one of us. Every vaccination means one less chance for the virus to spread to others in our community and one less chance for the virus to mutate. Every vaccination counts.

Please encourage educators, staff, parents and students in your district to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated. If they are uncertain, please direct them to trusted information sources, such as their doctor or pharmacist.

The more people who choose to get vaccinated, the sooner we can all get back to seeing the people we love, doing the things we enjoy and returning to the normal ways we live our lives.

Please contact the inbox with any questions. 

Thank you,

Colt Gill
Oregon Department of Education Director