Monday, Desert Healthcare District, Desert Care Network, and Palm Springs Unified School District will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of students. Starting Monday and continuing through Wednesday, vaccination clinics will be held on different campuses throughout the Coachella Valley. The Pfizer vaccine will be the shot available since the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use of this vaccine to children ages 12-15. "We've been providing vaccinations to our community since January, and are honored to be working with PSUSD to now provide vaccinations to teachers, students 12 years old and older, and their eligible family members, in the convenience of their school," said Linda Evans, Chief Strategy Officer for Community Advocacy for the Desert Care Network. “Knowing that sometimes kids are high carriers of the COVID virus, to ensure that the teachers feel safe and the parents feel safe and want their children to come back to school and be back in a social learning environment, it’s very important for them to get vaccinated,” added Evans.
“I feel more comfortable at my middle school than other places,” said Hema Gamboa, a Painted Hills Middle School sixth grader getting her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. She said she was nervous but also excited. “I feel more free a bit because then I don’t have to get nervous about people getting near me and getting the COVID,” said Gamboa.
The Healthcare District also is also working with Desert Sands Unified School District to vaccinate its eligible students, their families, school faculty, and staff. "By bringing the vaccine to eligible students and their families, we are helping to close the gap between the infection rate and the population immunity needed to protect our community," said Desert Healthcare District and Foundation CEO Conrado Bárzaga.
All community members are welcome to go to these clinics. A photo ID is required, a school ID will be fine, and all kids under 18 will need an adult with them.
Another new vaccine update this week, The Desert Hot Springs vaccination clinic, which is operated by OpumServe, will be switching vaccines from Moderna to Pfizer on Wednesday, May 26th. “We believe there is a good contingent of young people here that will be able to take advantage of the new vaccine that is available,” said Jose Arballo, spokesman for Riverside County Public Health. This move will further expand eligibility those who are 12 and older to become vaccinated.
News Channel 3's Taban Sharifi will have more on these efforts throughout the Coachella Valley tonight at 5 p.m.