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Free COVID vaccines to be given to students 16 and older at local high schools

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

Through a partnership between Alachua County Public Schools and the Alachua County Health Department, students ages 16 and older will be able to receive free COVID vaccinations at school during the regular school day during the next few weeks.

Participating students will receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for teens. Two clinics, three to four weeks apart, will be held at the district’s high schools so that students can receive both doses. 

The district and schools are sending home consent forms to families this week, including the families of Digital Academy students.  Those aged 16 and 17 must have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian for each vaccination. Students 18 and older may sign their own forms. 

Consent forms and information about the vaccine are available at www.sbac.edu/vaccines. Families may also request a hard copy of the packet from their child’s school.

Students and families are asked to return the forms to their school as soon as possible, although forms will be accepted on the day of each school’s clinic. Schools will be sending home their clinic schedules, which will also be posted at www.sbac.edu/vaccines

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In keeping with the district’s COVID protocols limiting visitors on campus, parents will not be present for the clinics.

“We have more than 5000 students who are 16 or older, and we’re thrilled at the opportunity to have them vaccinated in a way that’s safe and convenient for them and their families,” said Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon. “We appreciate the Health Department for making this possible.”

The COVID vaccination partnership is similar to the long-standing collaboration between the Health Department and the school system to provide FluMist vaccinations to students each year. That program has received national recognition for its success in reducing school absences and hospitalizations for flu and flu-like illnesses.

The Health Department has previously conducted clinics for teachers and other district employees.

“The Alachua County Health Department continues to collaborate with the school district on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Administrator Paul Myers. “Protecting our students, teachers, and staff remains a top priority.”

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