East Vaccination Rates: What You Need To Know
As East students walked into the building for the first time in over a year and a half, one thing was blatantly obvious: masks. The COVID-19 pandemic has been on everyone's mind. We are still trying to protect ourselves by wearing masks, but unlike last year's hybrid program, vaccines are now readily available for the virus.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made the Coronavirus vaccine available to children 12 and up on May 10, and recently fully approved it on August 23. Most public officials, health professionals, and scientists are urging people to become vaccinated. On September 9th, President Biden mandated all federal workers to get vaccinated and required companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccines or weekly Covid testing. Before the school year, Denver’s Mayor, Michael B. Hancock, issued a mandate for all city workers including administration and teachers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Sept. 30th. This gives students the reassurance that the teachers are vaccinated, but both students and faculty have been left in the dark about the vaccination rates of the students.
The Spotlight team conducted a survey the week of September 6th at East, and found that out of 245 students across all grades, 83% had received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot. The East student population closely resembles most of Denver's population. “Metro Denver ages 12+ has a vaccination total of 75% as of September 10st,” reports the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The survey, which was left anonymous to encourage honesty, asked three questions:
Are you vaccinated?
What grade are you in?
What percent of the East student population do you think are vaccinated?”
When we analyzed the data, we found that the majority of kids who were vaccinated thought that more than 75% of the East students were vaccinated. However, most of the unvaccinated students assumed only 30-40% were vaccinated. This trend was consistent throughout the data. The unvaccinated students were under the assumption that the majority of the population have not been vaccinated.
Fortunately, vaccination is free and readily available at East’s own Denver Health school-based clinic. We talked to Paulette Littlejohn, the medical assistant, about how to get the vaccine. “Students can get the vaccine to COVID right here in the clinic … the easiest way is to walk into the clinic located at room 140 and schedule an appointment or call at (720)432-8378.” We also asked her about parental approval using the clinic, her response was, “Yes, if you are under 18 and would like to use the clinic, you will need to fill out the school based health consent, however if you are using the clinic just for the Covid vaccine the clinic can call your parents just for a verbal consent.” Ms. Littlejohn also commented that the covid vaccine is free.
Ms. Littlejohn finally commented,“Please follow COVID guidelines when in the building by wearing your mask completely over your nose. If you have any more questions please come by the clinic.”