FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – COVID-19 vaccinations are being made available at a dozen Broward schools a day after the School Board voted to make masks optional for all grades beginning November 20.
With the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for younger children the school district, in partnership with the Department of Health, vaccinations are underway for children ages five and older.READ MORE: Officials: Man On American Airlines Flight From Guatemala Hitched Ride To Miami Inside Plane's Landing Gear
Click here to download the schedule for on-site vaccinations at Broward County Public Schools.
Some parents told CBS4 they support the on-campus vaccinations.
“I try to be as balanced as possible, but I am extremely pro-vaccination and I think it’s great,” parent David Levens. “I don’t believe they’re mandating it, I believe it’s optional but it gives parents an opportunity to access the vaccines pretty easily for their children.”
“We decided not to get her vaccinated today. We kinda want to talk to her doctor first, but I think it helps parents not have to worry about making appointments and figuring it out around school,” said Amiee Tuna whose child attends Country Hill Elementary.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
The School Board’s vote on making masks optional followed a recommendation from interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright, who noted the continued decline in the COVID infection rate, no increase in the quarantine rate after masks became optional at the high school level, and because the district is offering kid-size dose vaccines at elementary and middle schools.
“Most of our high schoolers still continued to want to wear the face coverings. For the ones who chose not to, they were allowed not to. However, we did not see a break in the trend that we were experiencing across the entire district,” explained Cartwright. “We wanted to make sure that we gave ample opportunity for our students and families who wanted to be able to go out and receive their vaccination, they had the ability to do that. By the time we break for Thanksgiving, we will have covered about 70% of our elementary schools.”
While masks will be optional, they are strongly encouraged.
“The School Board of Broward County’s decision today to make masks optional was based on the decrease in positivity and hospitalization numbers in South Florida. The availability of vaccines for all school-aged children is a very important step in continuing to mitigate the spread of the virus, and I hope parents will seriously consider getting their children vaccinated and recommend that they still wear masks in school,” said the Broward Teachers Union in a statement on Tuesday.
Select Publix, CVS, and Walmart pharmacies are also administering the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to children. Find pharmacy locations here.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
Select Winn-Dixie pharmacies are also offering the Pfizer vaccine doses to the 5-11 set. Click Here for availability.