Valley parents will soon be sending their kids back to in-person learning, but do they need to vaccinate their student before classes start?
"It's definitely a concern if it becomes a mandate for schools," said local parent Nancy who has a five-year-old son starting kindergarten."As far as going into the new year, I'm excited that everything's open, especially with him being five years old and trying to do the whole virtual learning. I didn't think that was going to be very well."
Her son is not vaccinated for COVID, however that would not keep him from being in the classroom.
Neither Palm Springs, Desert Sands, or Coachella Valley Unified School District will require students to have the COVID vaccine. However, Riverside County health officials continue to encourage parents to vaccinate their children.
"Right now, COVID vaccination is highly recommended, but not yet mandated," said county deputy public health officer, Dr. Shunling Tsang. "That is the best way to keep yourself from severe complications of COVID and long covid, as well."
Tsang said parents can go to their pediatrician if they want to vaccinate their child.
And similar to vaccinations, masks will be encouraged but not required by all three school districts.
"We do anticipate that there will be another surge this winter, especially as we're seeing new variants coming out," said Tsang. "And so getting vaccinated and masking indoors, even though it's not mandatory, it still is a layer of protection for our kids."
Valley school districts say they will continue to offer regular vaccine clinics at various campus sites, which gives parents easy access to the vaccine if they want it for their child.
"I think that's awesome, as long as it's a parent's decision," said Nancy. "I'm super happy that schools are opened because the most important thing to me for him is his education and his health."
UPCOMING FREE COVID-19 VACCINE CLINICS
Desert Sands Unified School
- Friday, August 12, at Indio High School from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Monday, August 15, at Desert Ridge Academy (Middle School) from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Walk-ins welcome; registration preferred
- Anyone five years old or older is eligible
- Booster shots available
- Pfizer vaccine (pediatric and adult) offered
Coachella Valley Unified School District:
Click here to register for the CVUSD vaccine clinic
Palm Springs Valley Unified School District: