PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Public Schools (PPS) will host pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinics at eight elementary schools in the coming weeks. The program is part of a partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Medical Teams International.
The exact dates for the clinics have not yet been released.
“Schools have long served as trusted community hubs. They are ideal locations to help administer vaccines rapidly and efficiently. We’re proud to partner with Kaiser Permanente and Medical Teams International in providing yet another layer of COVID-19 mitigation to PPS families,” said PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. “Many of us grew up with our parents recounting their experience of what it was like to receive the polio vaccine at their local school. The relief, the enthusiasm that they felt to finally gain protection against a virus that had deeply impacted their communities...this time is no different.”
The clinics will take place at the following elementary schools:
- Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary
- Cesar Chavez School
- Faubion School
- Lent Elementary
- Rigler Elementary
- Rosa Parks Elementary
- Scott Elementary
- Sitton Elementary
Clinics will be held after school and into the evenings to allow parents to get their kids vaccinated after work or when they pick up their children. Information about the clinics will first be released to parents in PPS then released to the public.
The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA for children 5-11 and is expected to be fully authorized by the CDC soon. Moderna has come out with research in recent days saying clinical trials with children have had a strong result for children ages 6-11.
“Life during these last few months of the pandemic has been especially complicated for parents of young children because their kids haven’t been eligible for the vaccine,” said Lisa Denike, chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente. “Being able to vaccinate this age group is a big step forward in keeping our kids safe while they’re at school and out in the community, limiting the spread of COVID, and bringing this pandemic to an end. We’re pleased to partner with PPS to make the vaccination process as easy as possible for parents, by bringing it directly into schools.”
Booster shots and vaccines will also be available for parents and guardians of students. In order for a student to receive a vaccine, they must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.
PPS said it is discussing a vaccine mandate and it is only being considered for children aged 12 and up.
“One day our students will recount their own experiences of receiving a vaccine that changed the course of their generation’s pandemic for the better,” said Guerrero. “Vaccination is the best tool we have to help keep our students, and our broader community, healthy and safe. We’re grateful to collaborate with partners to make this upcoming vaccination opportunity available and accessible to our families.”
PPS has been planning the pilot project for several months. It’s part of the Biden Administration's operational plans for vaccinating children ages 5 to 11, a key component of which is working with states and local partners to make vaccination sites easily accessible at local schools.
Visit pps.net to learn more about the district’s protocols for keeping students and staff safe from COVID-19.