Urge PUSD To Vaccinate Students Ahead of the COVID Holiday Surge

Urge PUSD To Vaccinate Students Ahead of the COVID Holiday Surge

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Tina Fredericks started this petition

Join me in urging PUSD to present a vaccination plan at the November 18, 2021 PUSD Board meeting in order to protect students, employees, and their families from COVID as the holidays approach. Contact Superintendent McDonald superintendent@pusd.us and fellow Board members.

The presentation should include, but not limited to:

  • communication plan - weekly communication to families encouraging vaccinations prior to the holidays and encouraging COVID safety during the holidays
  • updates to the COVID Dashboard as needed
  • district-wide incentive program for students to get vaccinated
  • weekly schedule for district hosted weekend vaccination clinics to accommodate working families
  • deadline for creating a full implementation 6-month vaccination plan

PUSD has the opportunity to take the lead on mitigating the expected COVID holiday surge by implementing a district-specific vaccination plan immediately. Over 15,000 students and 2,500 staff will be going on a 9-day Thanksgiving vacation and 16-day winter break starting November 20, 2021 and December 18, 2021, respectively. During the holidays, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, young and old intermingle indoors, which creates the conditions for COVID to spread. The same time last year, COVID cases were on the rise. On Oct. 30, 2021, Pasadena Now reported a slight uptick on COVID cases in Pasadena.  As reported on October 28, 2021, COVID test positivity rates and virus-related hospitalizations have begun to rise again in Los Angeles County and California after months of decline. “We’ve got to be mindful of the winter months and safely enjoy the holidays together,” said Governor Newsom. “We now have the prospect of a flu season that was mitigated last year” by masks and social distancing coming roaring back. He cited the potential for a “twindemic” of increased flu cases and another winter wave of COVID after last year’s flu was mitigated by increased mask wearing, which has abated somewhat. “After all, it was right about the end of October when the winter 2020 surge began accelerating,” Newsom said, citing a tripling of cases around this time last year. 

According to New York Times article published on October 30, 2021, "Infectious disease experts say that with approaching holiday travel and family gatherings, widespread vaccination of younger children could be a game-changer: It could help keep classes in person, reduce the likelihood of quarantines and lessen the risk of transmission to older, vulnerable adults — as well as protect the children from what has become the eighth biggest killer in their age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, nearly two million children aged 5 to 11 have been infected with the virus and 8,300 have been hospitalized. A third of those hospitalized were admitted to intensive care units, and at least 170 have died.

After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization for 5-11 year olds last week and as the nation is on the verge of administering vaccinations for them, some parents have reservations about vaccinating their little ones.  A Yale Medicine article, updated on October 29, 2021, addresses parents' concerns about vaccinating their 5-11 year old children, including the extremely rare and treatable myocarditis. “In addition to protecting children from COVID-19, [the vaccine] offers another layer of protection to close family members and contacts who may have immune problems or who may be at higher risk for severe complications of the disease,” says Thomas Murray, MD, PhD, a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious diseases specialist. “Because of Delta, the number of children being infected either with or without symptoms is increasing,” Dr. Sude says. “And any time an individual is infected with the virus, they are a potential source of infection—they can spread it to a more vulnerable person, and overall help to perpetuate a cycle of infection that could lead to yet another variant.” Simply put, from a public health standpoint, it will likely be impossible to gain sufficient control over the pandemic without including children in the vaccine program, Dr. Sude adds. 

In order to find a vaccination clinic near you and make an appointment, go to https://myturn.ca.gov/

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