COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – In less than a week, Columbus City Schools students ages 5-11 will be able to get the COVID-19 shot while at school.
Health leaders are hoping this can be an option for parents who haven’t been able to get their children the vaccine yet.
However, if parents want to take advantage of this opportunity, their consent forms need to be turned in by the end of the day Tuesday.
The consent form can be completed online or printed out and handed in in person.
Hundreds of students have already signed up and the district hopes that number rises.
“Five to 11-year-olds are really a critical group of kids we want to make sure get vaccinated,” said Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Sara Bode, the district’s medical consultant.
Bode knows some children in the 5-11 age range have already been vaccinated, but hopes school clinics help parents who just haven’t had time to vaccinate their children yet.
“There are some parents that might be working long hours and aren’t able to do that during a time that works for them and their schedule, so we really want to make everyone who wants this has the opportunity to get it for their student and so that’s why we are going from school to school,” Bode said.
The vaccine will be available at every Columbus City school that has students in the 5-11 age group; Bode expects teams to be in more than 80 buildings next week for the clinics.
“It’s going to be an all-hands-on-deck effort to get to all of these locations,” she said.
Columbus Public Health and Nationwide Childrens are working together to make the effort possible. While this is not the first time vaccines have been offered in city schools, it is the first time for this younger age group.
Like other clinics, students will be watched for 15 minutes after the shot before going back to class.
“We really want to make sure we’re offering each parent the chance to get that vaccine in a way that makes sense for them as far as their schedule, and then we will, of course, be coming back around after the holidays for that second dose the first week of January,” Bode said.
So far, Bode said more than 600 students have signed up for next week’s clinics. She hopes that the final number exceeds 1,000.
For a link to the consent form, click here.