Your Connection To Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Vaccine clinics get underway at Seattle schools

Nurse practitioner Amber Vitale gives Stanley Pena, 13, the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday at De La Salle School in Freeport, N.Y. Seattle schools will now have pop-up clinics to vaccinate students.
Mary Altaffer
/
The Associated Press
Nurse practitioner Amber Vitale gives Stanley Pena, 13, the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday at De La Salle School in Freeport, N.Y. Seattle schools will now have pop-up clinics to vaccinate students.

Starting this week, the Seattle Fire Department is offering vaccine clinics at schools, with the aim of protecting 17,000 students eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine from the coronavirus. 

 

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration announced children as young as 12 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA approved the vaccine for those 16 and up back in December. 

The vaccination clinics do not require an appointment, but students do need to provide written guardian consent prior to being vaccinated, city officials said. Schools offering vaccination clinics will email the consent forms – offered in various languages – to families. 

One of the first clinics was held on Monday at Nathan Hale High School. 

Kayce Patterson was there with her son, Gustav, a 14-year-old student at Jane Addams Middle School.

“We've talked about doing things as a family, and he's the one that doesn't want to go because he feels unsafe. So I feel like it's going to be a load off of him,” Patterson said. 

Both Patterson and her son said they were also hopeful getting more children vaccinated would help get America up and running again. 

Thirteen-year-old eighth-grader Viv Sackville said she and her friends were also excited for the opportunity to get vaccinated. 

"The only nerves are the fact that it's a shot, and we don't like getting shots. But we're happy that we, like all my friends, are happy that we're able to get it, get the vaccine," she said.

Her dad said soon the entire family would be vaccinated and planned to celebrate by going to Seattle Sounders games again. 

Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all 295 school districts in Washington to open their buildings to elementary, middle and high school students in April. 

In all, since last August, there have been approximately 708 COVID-19 cases reported in Washington’s K-12 schools, both public and private.

The Seattle Fire Department is also offering pop-up vaccination clinics at Blanchet High School, Seattle Preparatory School, and Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School.

In addition, three youth-focused vaccination clinics will be held at Lumen Field Event Center this week.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan called vaccinating students “an issue of educational justice,” since distance learning does not work well for all families. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said even vaccinated students should continue to wear masks and social distance.

Lilly Ana Fowler reports on social justice issues for KNKX. She previously worked for the nonprofit news site Crosscut — a partner of KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS station.