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Council Releases Report on School-Located COVID-19 Vaccination Events

  • As schools reopen for in-person instruction, school-located vaccination (SLV) sites are an effective tool for safely reopening schools and protecting students and their families against outbreaks of COVID-19.

    To support leaders in developing effective, school-located COVID-19 vaccination strategies, the Council of the Great City Schools collaborated with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, the COVID Collaborative, National Rural Education Association, Rural Schools Collaborative, and AASA: The School Superintendents Association to develop an issue brief Innovative Strategies for Leveraging Schools as COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

    The brief features case studies from three Council member school districts: Detroit Community School District, Florida’s Orange County Schools in Orlando; and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    In an effort to help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, the Detroit Community School District launched an information campaign for teachers, staff, parents, and eligible students. Through the Teens for Vaccines campaign, student ambassadors have shared their experiences with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, school nurses called over 10,000 homes to have conversations with parents and the school system partnered with a local radio station to share information with the broader community.

    From the start, Orange County Public Schools recognized that active communication and education for parents and students would be necessary to promote vaccine confidence and uptake. As a result, the district sent text and phone call reminders to parents of eligible students, posted on social media, and provided information about the COVID-19 vaccine on its website. Principals took an active role at the school vaccination sites by sending communication during clinic hours to remind students and parents about the availability of the vaccine and encourage turnout.

    The nation’s second largest school district contracted with an agency to hold mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics at 150 middle and high schools throughout the spring and summer and will hold additional mobile clinics as students return to schools in the fall. The Los Angeles school district initiated a TikTok campaign, along with engaging local civic and faith leaders in an effort to combat flagging vaccination rates and bolster vaccine confidence.

    While there is no “one size fits all” approach to SLV, the innovative strategies, key considerations, lessons learned, and resources described in this issue brief are designed to help school districts maximize the impact and reach of SLV efforts.