LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Unified School District said it will start offering the coronavirus vaccine for students ages 5 to 11 beginning Monday.
LAUSD plans to offer voluntary vaccine access for its younger students starting Nov. 8. Also, beginning Nov. 16, the district plans to open 13 school-based clinics to offer the vaccine.
"I will get it for my son right away. I have my three shots, I work in the medical business and I know it’s good for him. I’m ok with it," said LAUSD parent Armando Negrete. His 11-year-old son Alejandro wants the vaccine to avoid any disruptions to time in the classroom.
"I want that to happen because I’m tired of wearing a mask," added Alejandro, a student at Vine Street Elementary School in Hollywood.
The district's announcement came shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine the green light to give kids as young as 5 the jab.
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"He’s going to get it because I feel safer for my kid to be around other kids that are not vaccinated," said Adriana Delarosa who dropped her daughter off at school Wednesday morning.
Other parents, like Asha Billings, are hesitant to inoculate their younger children.
"I’m not really sure. I feel like adults are able to handle it a little better versus children. Kids' immune systems aren’t as good as adults', so I’m a little iffy about it," said Billings.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found only a third of parents of 5 to 11-year-olds say they will vaccinate their child "right away" when the vaccine becomes available for that age group.
According to the poll, 23% of parents have had a child quarantine at home since the school year began. That number includes 26% of parents of young children ages 5-11.
As of Tuesday, LA Unified students ages 12 and up involved in team sports are required to be vaccinated. All students 12 and up are required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10 under the district’s current vaccine policy.
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