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Brownsville ISD making plans to vaccinate students younger than 12

1 month 2 weeks 15 hours ago Friday, October 22 2021 Oct 22, 2021 October 22, 2021 8:28 AM October 22, 2021 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic

Brownsville ISD is putting plans in place to give COVID vaccines to children younger than 12 once the shots get approved by the federal government.

Rosalva Larrasquitu is the director of the district's parent and family engagement and says she’s heard mixed emotions from parents about vaccinating younger kids.

“There’s been mixed emotions from parents comments in regards to, ‘Should I get my children vaccinated or not? Still the unknown. They’re still a little leery about that,” Larrasquitu said. 

RELATED: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in kids  

But Larrasquitu says teachers will likely feel a sense of relief once the vaccine does become available for younger students.

“Because they know they’re doing everything in their power to be safe; keep themselves and their students safe and this is going to be an extra precaution of keeping everyone safe in the classroom,”  Larrasquitu said.

Enrollment rates at the district are low, but Larrasquitu says she's hoping the vaccine will make parents feel more comfortable sending their kids back to school.

Alonso Guerrero, the Brownsville ISD health director, says the district has more than 15,000 kids ages five through 11. On Wednesday, the district ordered more than 4,000 first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the federal government, with plans for a vaccination clinic on the Saturday after the expected approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

READ ALSO: White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11  

Guerrero says this is the next step to keep their COVID numbers in the district low.

“These kids 5 to 11, they’ve been in pandemic mode for over a year and a half, so they’re ready for these vaccines so they can get back to normal," Guerrero said. Hopefully lose our masks here in the near future.”

Guerrero says in addition to the clinic they're planning on holding days after FDA approval of the vaccines, they also plan to hold other clinics before eventually moving them into their elementary schools.

The FDA is set to discuss authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 on Oct. 26. They're expected to officially approve it not long after that. 

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