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As schools reopen, some offer on-campus vaccination sites

Palo Alto Unified, AchieveKids work to expand availability of COVID-19 vaccine to staff, students

AchieveKids student Alani was one of 60 students and employees who received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palo Alto nonpublic school on March 12. Courtesy AchieveKids.

The Palo Alto school district and a Palo Alto nonpublic school for students with disabilities are hosting on-site vaccine clinics to support the safe reopening of their respective campuses.

Palo Alto Unified will offer the Pfizer vaccine at Palo Alto High School this weekend in the hopes of reaching employees who haven't been able to access the COVID-19 vaccine, while AchieveKids vaccinated 60 staff and students last week at the Middlefield Road nonpublic school.

Palo Alto Unified partnered with Safeway Pharmacy after Assistant Superintendent Equity and Student Affairs Lana Conaway saw a flyer advertising their services in another county. She reached out to Safeway and within two days they had a plan for vaccinating district staff over two days, this Saturday, March 20, and then on April 10.

"We have been following the guidance of the experts and we know the COVID-19 vaccination not only saves lives but helps reduce the spread of the virus," Conaway said. "Why wouldn't we want to do what we can to make it more accessible to our staff so that we can get teachers and students back in classrooms as safely as possible?"

The Peery Family Center at Palo Alto High School. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

Close to 200 employees have signed up so far to receive the vaccine through this partnership, Conaway said. Safeway Pharmacy will be providing both the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, so employees who already received their first shot can also finish the vaccine on campus. The site will be located at the Peery Family Center at Paly and staffed by district volunteers.

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The on-site vaccinations are only available to employees, not students. It's open to staff with and without insurance, as well as family members who are currently eligible for the vaccine under the state's tier system.

The new partnership comes as the district has reopened for all grade levels — a major milestone since closing due to the coronavirus a year ago. Kindergarteners through high school seniors now all have options to be on campuses, though high schoolers aren't yet able to receive direct instruction in person. The district sent a survey out to employees on Thursday to find out how many have been vaccinated to date.

AchieveKids student Diego received the COVID-19 vaccine at his school campus on March 12. Courtesy AchieveKids.

AchieveKids, which serves students on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities, partnered with a local Walgreens to offer the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine on March 12. Many of the students who were vaccinated are over 18 years old and at high risk for adverse impacts from the coronavirus yet struggle in unfamiliar environments, so they are difficult to vaccinate, said Karin Klarreich, director of development for AchieveKids.

"Providing vaccines in a familiar setting with friendly faces significantly increases the likelihood of success in vaccination," Klarreich said. "Additionally this is a group of young people who also struggle with masks and understanding social distancing, so this measure adds further protections for them, their families and our overall school environment."

One parent said they had struggled before to find somewhere to vaccinate their child and little available information about the vaccine for children with special needs, even from their own doctor and local children's hospitals.

"I am grateful for AchieveKids for making the necessary arrangements to have the vaccines at their campus," the parent said. "It was easier for my son and for us. It was fast and smooth."

AchieveKids has been open for in-person instruction since the fall but is planning to bring back more students starting in April in light of the available vaccines and improving public health conditions.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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As schools reopen, some offer on-campus vaccination sites

Palo Alto Unified, AchieveKids work to expand availability of COVID-19 vaccine to staff, students

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 9:41 am

The Palo Alto school district and a Palo Alto nonpublic school for students with disabilities are hosting on-site vaccine clinics to support the safe reopening of their respective campuses.

Palo Alto Unified will offer the Pfizer vaccine at Palo Alto High School this weekend in the hopes of reaching employees who haven't been able to access the COVID-19 vaccine, while AchieveKids vaccinated 60 staff and students last week at the Middlefield Road nonpublic school.

Palo Alto Unified partnered with Safeway Pharmacy after Assistant Superintendent Equity and Student Affairs Lana Conaway saw a flyer advertising their services in another county. She reached out to Safeway and within two days they had a plan for vaccinating district staff over two days, this Saturday, March 20, and then on April 10.

"We have been following the guidance of the experts and we know the COVID-19 vaccination not only saves lives but helps reduce the spread of the virus," Conaway said. "Why wouldn't we want to do what we can to make it more accessible to our staff so that we can get teachers and students back in classrooms as safely as possible?"

Close to 200 employees have signed up so far to receive the vaccine through this partnership, Conaway said. Safeway Pharmacy will be providing both the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, so employees who already received their first shot can also finish the vaccine on campus. The site will be located at the Peery Family Center at Paly and staffed by district volunteers.

The on-site vaccinations are only available to employees, not students. It's open to staff with and without insurance, as well as family members who are currently eligible for the vaccine under the state's tier system.

The new partnership comes as the district has reopened for all grade levels — a major milestone since closing due to the coronavirus a year ago. Kindergarteners through high school seniors now all have options to be on campuses, though high schoolers aren't yet able to receive direct instruction in person. The district sent a survey out to employees on Thursday to find out how many have been vaccinated to date.

AchieveKids, which serves students on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities, partnered with a local Walgreens to offer the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine on March 12. Many of the students who were vaccinated are over 18 years old and at high risk for adverse impacts from the coronavirus yet struggle in unfamiliar environments, so they are difficult to vaccinate, said Karin Klarreich, director of development for AchieveKids.

"Providing vaccines in a familiar setting with friendly faces significantly increases the likelihood of success in vaccination," Klarreich said. "Additionally this is a group of young people who also struggle with masks and understanding social distancing, so this measure adds further protections for them, their families and our overall school environment."

One parent said they had struggled before to find somewhere to vaccinate their child and little available information about the vaccine for children with special needs, even from their own doctor and local children's hospitals.

"I am grateful for AchieveKids for making the necessary arrangements to have the vaccines at their campus," the parent said. "It was easier for my son and for us. It was fast and smooth."

AchieveKids has been open for in-person instruction since the fall but is planning to bring back more students starting in April in light of the available vaccines and improving public health conditions.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Leland J.
Registered user
Professorville
on Mar 19, 2021 at 12:35 pm
Leland J. , Professorville
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2021 at 12:35 pm
Samuel L
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 19, 2021 at 2:54 pm
Samuel L, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Only teachers that are teaching on campus should be eligible for the vaccine. Otherwise, get in line like everyone else.


Come on!
Registered user
another community
on Mar 19, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Come on!, another community
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2021 at 4:02 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2021 at 4:29 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2021 at 4:29 pm

Stop begrudging the teachers their vaccinations. Blaming the teachers for being put up front for vaccines is silly. The opening of classrooms and day care centers is based on our Government’s plan to restart the economy so parents can go back to work to drive corporate profits. Teachers didn’t hold anyone hostage and aren’t responsible for the out of control pandemic. Your problem is with Covid-19. You either want the schools open or you don’t. If you want them open then teachers move to the front of the vaccine line so that they are fully vaccinated for a possible full re-opening in the Fall so stop complaining. Also, If you don’t believe it’s for corporate profits the CDC bended more science today advising that 3 feet between students is now magically enough. Why has it been 6 feet every where else for a year but suddenly it’s 3 feet in schools. Obviously 3 feet means more kids can be herded back into classrooms. I am very concerned. There are parents that just want the schools open and want to send their kids back no matter what. But I’m concerned about the parents on the fence that listen to this made up guidance and who do send their children back to school believing it’s safe. They may be unwittingly putting the health of their children and their families in jeopardy as children won’t potentially be vaccinated until the fall and the general public won’t be eligible for the vaccine until May 1st according to Biden. Schools should be closed until the pandemic is under control. I personally would never work in this particular district based on all of the constant complaining. Be thankful that teachers kept educating the children online for your tax dollars after our former administration’s failed response to Covid. Also, don’t be simple and fall for the financial elite’s plan to pit the working class against each other(teachers vs. parents!). I’m happy you are going next teachers! Schools aren’t a bastion of safety in the pandemic.


Curious
Registered user
another community
on Mar 19, 2021 at 7:46 pm
Curious , another community
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2021 at 7:46 pm

Again, I would really encourage VOPA to break up their thoughts. It is almost impossible to follow. I stop reading after a few lines.


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