SUNNYVALE (KPIX) — With school about to resume in many Bay Area districts there is one last push to get as many students vaccinated as possible.
“We only got (the vaccine) because I’m going to school,” said Jalyn Fallorina of Sunnyvale. “They thought it would be mandatory.”
Fallorina says she didn’t have a particularly strong opinion about getting vaccinated but she went ahead with it on Saturday. She said a lot of her friends absolutely do not want the vaccine.
“A lot of us don’t want to get vaccinated,” she says. “Like ‘it’s kind of suspicious, I don’t want to get it,” she said describing her friends’ feelings.
Fallorina got her shot at a school relaunch fair and medical experts would like to see a lot more 12- to 17-year-olds doing the same.
“We know that our youth is an area where we can improve the vaccination rate, especially as we are preparing to go back to school,” said Kaiser pediatrician Dr. Nailah Thompson.
Clinics were held across the region Saturday, many of them targeting the younger crowd.
“Anyone between 12 and 17, we give them a raffle ticket, they walk to the end of the parking lot and we provide them with a school backpack,” explained Nmarisha Berry with the Alameda County Public Health Department.
The book-bag giveaway was in Oakland, where vaccines are already being administered on school campuses..
“We started this past Wednesday, going to our local schools, high schools and middle schools, vaccinating the first day of orientation,” Berry said. “It’s the evening pod, my parents are showing up to receive their information about school as well as an opportunity to get vaccinated.”
Students returning to class will be another test amid the spread of the Delta variant. What will transmission look like among those who will not get vaccinated and those who cannot get vaccinated?
“The ones I worry about are 5- to 11-year-olds who go back to school in September,” said UCSF epidemiologist George Rutherford. “Hopefully vaccines will come online and be approved so we can eliminate that risk quickly.”