COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccination Availability for Oregonians Ages 5-11 & Vaccination Resources for Schools

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To:          Superintendents and Principals, Charter School Leaders, Private School
               Leaders, School Nurses, Public Information Officers, Reopening
               Advisors, Education Partners
From:    Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education
Date:     November 3, 2021
RE:        COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccination Availability for Oregonians Ages 5-11
              & Vaccination Resources for Schools

Dear Colleagues,

I am excited to share news on COVID-19 pediatric vaccine availability, along with a set of communication tools and resources for school and district leaders. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect our communities AND keep our children learning in-person, all year long.

Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the successful review by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workshop, Governor Kate Brown announced today that children age 5 and older across Oregon are now eligible for the vaccine. The Oregon Health Authority OHA is currently helping prepare provider sites around the state to begin administering the vaccine.

Key Points About COVID-19 Vaccines for Ages 5-11 

  • Getting vaccinated can protect your student’s access to in-person learning, sports and extracurricular activities. Oregon’s Resiliency Framework and CDC guidance states that people who are fully vaccinated and do not have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine after an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • Families trust information they receive from their school. Polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation in August found parents whose children attended a school that provided information on the vaccine or encouraged its uptake were more likely to say their child had been vaccinated.
  • Children ages 5 to 11 will receive one-third of the adult dose of the Pfizer vaccine using smaller needles designed for children. To become fully vaccinated, the child will need a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after their first shot.
  • The vaccine is free. No health insurance is required, and it is available regardless of immigration status. 

What You Can Do

In partnership with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) I want to share several resources for you to use to encourage uptake of vaccinations by your school community:

COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccination - Communication Toolkit for Schools

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) in partnership with OHA developed a toolkit available on ODE’s Communications Toolkit webpage. We will continue to add resources and translations as they are developed. Similarly the CDC offers resources on How Schools Can Support COVID-19 Vaccination which can assist in answering general questions, promoting vaccine confidence, and making COVID-19 a teachable moment.

It is with deep appreciation to our scientific researchers, manufacturers, and our transportation and logistic professionals that we are at this point today. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Without their dedication and without your tireless efforts to keep our schools healthy, safe and open we would be in a very different place. Thank you for all you do to care for and educate the future leaders of Oregon. 

If you have any questions about this update, please contact the ODE COVID-19 inbox at Thank you!