SALEM (CBS) – As the state opens roughly 500 different locations to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19, one familiar place will play a part in the distribution: their schools.
Cities and towns like Salem, Cambridge, and Littleton have already announced vaccine clinics to be held for the younger age group at their schools.READ MORE: COVID Booster Demand 'Skyrocketing' In Massachusetts
“Right away we were looking for a way to get access to our families at the schools, directly at the schools,” said Salem superintendent of schools Dr. Stephen Zrike. “The timing could not be better. We are going into the winter season, into the holidays.”
Salem has scheduled two vaccine clinics at the schools coming up on Tuesday, November 9, through a mobile vaccination clinic through partners Fallon Ambulance and Mass General Hospital. Based on supply available from the state and demand in the city, Salem plans to hold smaller vaccine clinics at each individual school.
All that parents will have to do is sign a consent form and send it to school with their kids for them to be able to get the shot. Parents will also be welcome to come to school and join their young kids while they get a COVID-19 shot.
“We are doing it,” said AJ Hoffman of Salem, talking about her son Senan, who is 11. “Most of my friends are almost 12 so we were thinking next year we can get the vaccine! And now it has come out so like a bunch of my friends are really happy,” Senan said.READ MORE: 85-Year-Old Man Killed In Yarmouth Hit-And-Run Crash
Others say they prefer to wait it out. “I think I’m going to hold off for a little bit because it’s just so new,” Denise Hernandez of Lynn told WBZ about her nine-year-old daughter.
The Salem superintendent says the timing could not be better, since the school is still dealing with having to regularly quarantine classrooms as kids are diagnosed with COVID-19.
Just this week in Massachusetts, 1879 students and 339 staff members in Massachusetts schools tested positive for the virus. School administrators are hopeful that granting access to the vaccine and younger children will help curb the issue.
“If we are going to ensure safety and health and for us to return as much as we can to normal… We know the vaccine is absolutely essential,” Dr. Zrike said.MORE NEWS: Suit Alleges Company Sold Bogus Hand Sanitizer To Massachusetts Schools
For more information or to book an appointment, visit the state’s VaxFinder website.