Immunizations, COVID-19 vaccines in demand as students head back to school

Even though it’s not mandatory, parents in the Southside Independent School District are choosing to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19 at Metro Health pop-up clinics.

“We have had a nonstop response from our families,” said Southside ISD spokesman Randy Escamilla. “We know that the COVID rate is high right now, according to Metro Health, and families seem to be responding to that.”

Miguel Cervantes, public health administrator with Metro Health, said it has been promoting its pop-up clinics offering the COVID-19 vaccine and the immunizations needed for the new school year.

“We are seeing individuals coming in, and then taking advantage that we do offer the back-to-school vaccines at the same time,” Cervantes said.

However, Cervantes said the younger their child who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine is, the less sure parents with kids 6 months to 4 years old are that they want them vaccinated.

“We do have some individuals that are kind of in the wait-and-see pattern to see what type of data we get as more individuals get immunized,” Cervantes said. “I think now they’re getting those questions answered and feel like they have enough information to make a decision.”

The parents of older children are more willing to have them get the COVID-19 vaccine, Cervantes said.

With cases of COVID-19 on the rise and wearing masks at school highly recommended, Cervantes said parents should ask, “What does that community transmission look like at the time that the school starts?”

The advantage of offering both school immunizations and free COVID-19 vaccines, Cervantes said, “Family members and parents coming with a child are taking that opportunity. They get caught up on their vaccines as well to further protect their households.”

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