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COVID vaccine events for kids 5-11 are coming to New Orleans schools: See dates, locations

Paula Burch-Celentano
Tulane University
A Tulane University physician holds a bottle of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a university vaccination event.

A week after federal health officials approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, New Orleans schools are making the shot available to its younger students with multiple district-wide events hosted through November.

Starting Saturday, Nov. 13, New Orleans Public Schools are inviting students and their families to several campuses to get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

School officials have been working on a vaccination plan for months, one they were finally able to set into motion when the Centers for Disease Control's recommended the vaccine for children 5 to 11 on Nov. 2. Louisiana's health department made the shots available a day later.

“Medical experts say getting children ages 5 years and older vaccinated can help protect them from serious short- and long-term complications, and it can protect families and communities, including friends and family who are not eligible for the shot or those who are vulnerable to the virus,” NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. said in a statement. “All reasons why we want to provide easy access to the vaccine for our students and their families through our NOLA-PS Vaccination Events. We urge everyone to get vaccinated.”

The press release from the district also said getting students vaccinated means they will not have to quarantine if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, which prevents them from missing instructional time.

The first event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Charter School in Gentilly. Other times and locations for the next six events are listed below:

DateTimeSchool PartnerAddress
Nov. 1310am-1pmArthur Ashe School1456 Gardena St. 
Nov. 209am-2pmMildred Osborne Elementary6701 Curran Blvd.
Nov. 221pm-4pmLangston Hughes Academy3519 Trafalgar St.
Nov. 238:30am-11:30amPhillis Wheatley Community School2300 Dumaine St.
Nov. 231pm-4pmEdward Hynes - Parkview4617 Mirabeau Ave.
Nov. 241pm-4pmEdward Hynes - Lakeview990 Harrison Ave.
Nov. 279am-2pmArise Elementary3819 St. Claude Ave.

Those interested in attending one of the several events are encouraged to register here.

Many of the city's charter operators held their own vaccination events for students ages 5-11 the last two weeks, some through a partnership with CrescentCare, a health clinic in New Orleans. According to Katie Conner, CrescentCare's vaccine manager, the events were held during and outside of school hours, with parents either providing consent in-person or in advance.

CrescentCare held a vaccination event at Harriet Tubman Charter School, a PreK-8 school in Algiers, during the school day Wednesday. They vaccinated 53 children ages 5-11 and 40 students ages 12 and older, Conner said in an email.

Parents were not present and provided consent in advance. 

NOLA-PS has been one of the only school districts in the state to hold vaccination events for students ages 12-17, an age group that has been allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine since May. The city's school system also made it mandatory for eligible students to either be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 if they wanted to participate in after-school activities.

Despite efforts and state officials pushing for vaccines through a number of incentives, Louisiana lags behind most of the nation when it comes to vaccination rates. The state's initiated and completed vaccination rates for children are and have remained the lowest compared to the state's other age groups since vaccines were made available.

Katelyn Umholtz is the digital editor for WWNO and WRKF and is based out of New Orleans.
Aubri Juhasz is the education reporter for New Orleans Public Radio. Before coming to New Orleans, she was a producer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. She helped lead the show's technology and book coverage and reported her own feature stories, including the surge in cycling deaths in New York City and the decision by some states to offer competitive video gaming to high school students as an extracurricular activity.

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