Community groups are working with San Diego Unified to get more students vaccinated against COVID-19, even though the district’s student vaccine mandate was struck down by a court order two weeks ago.
“San Diego Unified’s goal is to have as many students as possible vaccinated against COVID-19,” San Diego Unified School Board President Sharon Whitehurst-Payne said in a statement. “Vaccines have proven to be the most effective tool in protecting students, staff and communities from contracting and spreading this virus.”
On Dec. 20 a local judge struck down the district’s COVID vaccine mandate for students age 16 and up because, he said, school districts don’t have the authority to mandate vaccines beyond what the state requires, and a COVID vaccine mandate must allow students’ personal belief exemptions.
San Diego Unified has said it will appeal the ruling. Its mandate for staff is still in place.
Meanwhile San Diego Unified schools are continuing to host on-site vaccine clinics, and members of the San Diego Latino Health Coalition and Alliance San Diego are going door-to-door during winter break and in January to distribute information about how to get vaccinated, officials said.
“We are talking with some of the most vulnerable and at-risk residents in the San Diego region to help them understand how and where to get the vaccination if they want it,” said Christopher Rice-Wilson, associate director of Alliance San Diego, in a statement. “We strongly believe all residents should have access to the information necessary to make an informed decision on vaccinations for their family, including the Black, Latinx, and other underserved families with children who attend San Diego Unified schools.”
Before the court’s ruling, San Diego Unified was struggling to get all its students to meet its mandate. About 20 percent of students age 16 and up had not gotten their first dose by Dec. 15, when the district’s deadline to do so was Nov. 29.
Countywide, about 75 percent of youth ages 12 to 19 have gotten vaccinated.
A UC San Diego mobile van is visiting San Diego Unified schools in January to provide COVID vaccines onsite. The van will visit these schools:
- Millennial Tech Middle: Monday, Jan. 3, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Knox Middle: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Perkins K-8: Wednesday, Jan. 5, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Audubon K-8: Thursday, Jan. 6, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Fulton K-8: Friday, Jan. 7, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Morse High: two Mondays, Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Lincoln High: two Tuesdays, Jan. 11 and Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Crawford High: two Wednesdays, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Hoover High: two Thursdays, Jan. 13 and Jan. 20, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- San Diego High: two Fridays, Jan. 14 and Jan. 21, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Students younger than age 18 will need to have a parent or guardian present. Students who attend the hosting school can get vaccinated without a parent or guardian present if they have a signed consent form.
In addition, Sharp Health is holding pop-up vaccine clinics at the following schools:
- Canyon Hills High: Monday, Jan. 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Henry High: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- University City High: Friday, Jan. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Clairemont High: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Kearny High: Thursday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
At the Sharp clinics, students attending the hosting school who are age 11 or older may be vaccinated without a parent present if they have a signed consent form.
Champions for Health also is holding vaccine clinics at the following schools:
- Fletcher Elementary: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2-6 p.m.
- Erickson Elementary: Thursday, Feb. 10, 12-4 p.m.
Appointments are not needed at the clinics.