Schools chief appeals to families about importance of getting COVID-19 vax

Get the vaccination, please, for everyone’s sake.

That’s essentially what State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Friday, when he released a letter addressed to parents and guardians urging them to make getting the COVID-19 vaccination a priority as K-12 students statewide continue to return to in-person classrooms.

Somewhat echoing immunology expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent remarks aired on National Public Radio, Thurmond stressed that vaccines are safe, effective, free and given to all individuals living in the U.S. regardless of insurance or immigration status.

In his appeal, which will be shared with families through school districts and other partners, the state schools chief reminded parents and guardians that vaccine clinics are convenient and do not require an appointment, as many school districts hold walk-in clinics for staff, students and families and are also available at retail locations, community clinics and elsewhere.

“Please help us protect your child, their teacher, and every student by getting vaccinated today,” Thurmond wrote. “We encourage you and everyone in your family who is twelve and older to get vaccinated — it can save lives.”

Thurmond

In recent weeks, Thurmond has been emphasizing the importance of vaccines through a series of virtual webinars, town halls, and school site and vaccine clinic visits to urge schools and communities to get as many eligible teens and adults vaccinated as possible against a backdrop of surging cases associated with the Delta variant.

The letter about vaccine effectiveness and its importance to opening schools — and keeping them open — is one more way Thurmond continues to keep the message at the forefront of his work, a spokesperson in the state Department of Education noted in a press statement.

“There is nothing more important now,” said Thurmond. “I am using every ounce of energy I can to continue to shout this from the rooftops: I want every parent and guardian out there to think hard about why they have been happy to see our communities open up.”

“To be able to hug loved ones, to gather again, this is because of the public health measures that were put in place and the efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible,” he added.

To find a vaccine clinic near you, visit the California Department of Public Health My Turn website or call 833-422-4255 to make and appointment or find a walk-in clinic.

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