Community Update

November 8, 2021

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Vaccination Access Has Expanded

The COVID-19 vaccination just recently received emergency authorization by the FDA and CDC and is now available to children between the ages of 5 and 11. Use of the vaccine for individuals ages 12 to 17 was approved in May 2021, which means that almost all of our students are now eligible to receive the vaccine.


According to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, there are a number of reasons why young people should get a vaccine.


  1. COVID-19 vaccines are the safest way to acquire protection from the COVID-19 virus.

  2. While less common, young people may still suffer serious symptoms or long-term effects from COVID-19 disease.

  3. Younger people may spread the virus to more vulnerable members of our community.

  4. The more vaccinated individuals our community has, the less opportunity there is for different or new strains to spread or occur.

  5. Fully vaccinated individuals can feel safer doing the things they enjoy.

  6. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine at home if exposed unless they develop symptoms.


At this time, the vaccine created by Pfizer is the only one available to individuals ages 5 to 11. According to the FDA, the vaccine is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).


We are proud to announce that vaccinations for all children five and older are available for free at the Vista Community Clinic and the Linda Rhoades Recreation Center. You can also visit myturn.ca.gov or call 211 to find a comprehensive list of sites offering vaccines in our community. In the coming weeks, we will also be offering mobile vaccination centers throughout the district. We encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity to keep their children safe and to keep our schools open as we move into the winter months. The more students we can get vaccinated, the fewer impacts of quarantine will be felt in our schools and communities. Vista Unified remains committed to following the protocols for testing and vaccinations outlined in the state and county regulations.


Vista Unified has been working closely with our community health partners to prepare for California’s plan for vaccination requirements. Although vaccine availability for children 5 to 11 moves us one step closer to California’s plan to mandate vaccines for all school-aged children, the state’s new regulation will not apply until vaccines for juveniles, ages 12-17, and children, ages 5-11, are fully authorized by the FDA. Once the vaccines are fully approved, students will have until the next term to complete their vaccinations and attend school in person. State officials have said that July 1, 2022 is the earliest the mandate is expected to begin.


To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination process, please visit the county’s resource webpage.

Sincerely,


Matt Doyle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Vista Unified School District