Johnson County school districts could offer vaccinations at in-school clinics before academic year ends

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OLATHE, Kan. — Teenagers may soon be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at school.

The Johnson County Health Department said it’s finalizing plans to offer doses of the Pfizer vaccine to students who are at least 16 years old. Clinics could be operational before the end of the month.

“We’re in the works to figure out a way to provide some vaccines either during school hours with school nurses who would administer it at school or through other clinics through Children’s Mercy,” Elizabeth Holzschuh, Director of Epidemiology for the Johnson County Department of Health, said on a zoom meeting Friday.

Permission from a parent or guardian would be required, and a form would need to be signed electronically. Several metro school districts have already sent surveys to parents asking their opinions about having vaccination clinics in schools.

“This is not mandatory, we’re not going to force anybody to get the vaccine, even if they’re students. This is just to provide an extra opportunity for us to get as many individuals an opportunity and our community protected as possible,” Holzschuh said.

Some districts may have clinics during school hours. Others may decide to hold evening clinics through Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Either way, students younger than 16 will not be offered the vaccine when clinics are operational. That’s because none of the vaccines have Emergency Use Authorization to be administered to anyone under the age of 16. Pfizer did submit its data to the FDA and request to expand the authorization to children as young as 12.

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