During the month of January, J-D held two vaccine and booster clinics made available by Kinney Drugs. On January 17, J-D held a vaccine and booster clinic at Tecumseh Elementary School for any student ages 12+ and any staff members from 12 to 6 p.m. A second vaccine clinic for students ages 5-11 was held on January 25 at Jamesville Elementary with a second dose available on February 15 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Biden administration recently has encouraged schools to host vaccine clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to kids. More specifically, the White House is looking to provide vaccines to those ages 5 to 11. First Lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy visited the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in Virginia days after the vaccine was recommended to this age group to launch a nationwide campaign promoting child vaccinations.
Superintendent Peter Smith answered the following questions regarding the clinics at J-D.
Do the students have to pay or are they both free clinics?
No, they’re both free clinics.
Is the school paying for the vaccines?
No, not in any way.
How is it funded?
I can’t answer that directly. Originally, the county health department told me that we had a partnership with Kinney Drugs, and that Kinney Drugs was willing to partner with us. And so then I got in contact with Kinney Drugs and they’re the ones that are supplying all the vaccines, all the boosters. Tests, boosters, interestingly so tests, when you get tested often times the testing agencies whether you go to the Landmark Theater or Syracuse, or wherever you go, they’ll ask for your insurance and there is an effort, I think it’s by the government to try to get the insurance companies to pay for the tests. I don’t know exactly, obviously it’s not my world, so I don’t know the specifics around [how] they’re getting that money.
Why can’t ages 12 and up get their first shot if they haven’t already? In the email, it said the first shot clinic was only 5-11.
I think that’s simply because there’s different dosages and it’s simply what we’re being supplied. I have not heard a demand for the first dose for 12 to 18 year olds. If I did start hearing that, I’d reach out to Kinney Drugs in a heartbeat and say, “Hey, let’s get another clinic set up.”
Why does the district think it’s important to bring the opportunity to get vaccinated into elementary schools?
I think it’s just about making it easier. What I had heard was that people were challenged to get appointments, people were challenged to get booster shot appointments. If there’s anything I can do to support that, we’re happy to do that.
How does the government oversee clinics like these run by drug stores?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
When you set it up, you didn’t go through anything higher up than Kinney Drugs? It was completely through Kinney?
There’s a consent form that everyone’s required to do. I presume that has all sorts of disclaimers. Again, I would presume that those are pharmacists employed by Kinney who are administering, or if not a pharmacist at least someone who’s been appropriately trained to administer those shots, and so I would guess Kinney must have to sign off with some governmental agency to say we’re either trained or there’s a pharmacist who’s administering these.
Has the county reached out and said that local pharmacies want schools to get vaccinated?
No, the county reached out to the school to say, “Hey, if you’d like to host, this here’s a willing partner.”
Has this been done at any local schools you know about?
I’m not sure.